Grading the Philadelphia Eagles' Decision to Re-Sign Michael Vick
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the team agreed to a restructured, one-year deal with the veteran quarterback.
Some will love the move due to the schematic fit. Chip Kelly's system calls for an athletic signal-caller with running ability, and Vick is certainly proficient in that capacity.
However, Vick has missed nine games with various injuries over the last two seasons, and in the 23 contests he did play in, he threw for 24 interceptions and lost seven fumbles. Suffice it to say, some may be critical of the move.
Let's grade the Eagles' decision to continue the Vick experiment in Philly.
Based on the current market of quarterbacks, Michael Vick is the ideal signal-caller to operate Chip Kelly's zone-read spread offense.
His system calls for a quarterback who can make quick decisions when throwing the football and, most importantly, be a threat with his legs.
We all know Vick can do that.
Dennis Dixon, a dual-threat quarterback, completed nearly 68 percent of his passes, threw 20 touchdown passes to only four interceptions and ran for 583 yards with nine rushing touchdowns operating in Kelly's system with the Oregon Ducks in 2007.
Vick may not be the quickest, most intelligent passer, but his decision-making acumen will be tested when asked to read opposing defensive ends.
Note: If the Baltimore Ravens do not sign Dennis Dixon, who is currently on the team's practice squad, the Eagles would be eligible to sign him.
Since returning to the NFL and taking over the Eagles' starting job in 2010, Vick has completed 60.2 percent of his passes while averaging 2,894 yards, 17 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions per season.
He has missed 13 games and lost 11 fumbles over that span.
Undeniably, Vick is a more accurate passer than he was prior to his dog-fighting jail sentence, but 60 percent wouldn't exactly be characterized as stellar.
Just as importantly, Vick has rushed for 676, 589 and 332 yards in each of the last three seasons, respectively.
In 2010, he accounted for nine rushing touchdowns, but he has only recorded two since.
The specific financial figures have not been released, but this tweet from CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora does give some insight into the money involved:
Vick's deal incorporates a base salary, roster bonus, signing bonus and incentives to reach a max of $10 million— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 11, 2013
That's quite a large sum, but one has to believe that to reach that $10 million, Vick would have to put on a spectacular performance in 2013.
More importantly, because Vick's deal is only one year, the Eagles have essentially made the re-signing a low-risk move. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2014, so if he flames out in 2013, Philadelphia will move on.
If Vick flourishes in Kelly's offense and doesn't get injured, though, the Eagles' decision to re-sign him will look like a brilliant one, and a new contract will be negotiated.
In 2012, Vick suffered rib injuries in two straight preseason games. The second instance forced the Eagles quarterback to get an MRI and CT scan.
Luckily, the tests revealed "no broken bones or fractured cartilage in Vick's ribs," per Philly.com.
After sitting out for six weeks, he was cleared for action and started the Eagles' Week 17 blowout defeat at the hands of the New York Giants.
Vick should be a more controlled runner in Kelly's scheme, but he hasn't been durable during his career when scrambling in the open field.
Kelly needs a specific quarterback to efficiently operate his system, and there isn't a plethora of signal-callers with inherent scrambling ability and a big arm on the market or in the 2013 NFL draft class.
For those reasons, Vick re-signing with the Eagles is logical, particularly when considering the minimal risk and his previous success with the franchise.
Also, this tweet from Geoff Mosher of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is imperative:
I'm told from league source Vick's restructure enables QB to compete, not be handed the starting title. No guarantee he's on team in 2013.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) February 11, 2013
If Vick does win the starting job, Kelly will likely do everything in his power to keep him away from big hits without limiting the Eagles' new-look offensive attack.
The four-time Pro Bowler will be 33 years old when the 2013 season begins, and it's impossible to ignore his injury-ridden past. But the length of the deal, the schematic fit, the lack of other options at quarterback and the fact that he must compete for the starting job give the decision some legs.
Vick may not be the answer, but the Eagles might as well let him try to be.
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