What Michael Vick Must Do to Remain Philadelphia Eagles' Starter in 2014

Bryn Swartz@eaglescentralSenior Writer IIIOctober 3, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11:   Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

One of the biggest storylines heading into the 2013 season for the Eagles was whether veteran quarterback Michael Vick would be able to successfully revive his career under new head coach Chip Kelly. 

Through four games, Kelly's offense has probably been a slight disappointment, but the play of Vick has been, although inconsistent, generally pretty good. 

First, let's look at the positives. Vick is is leading the league in yards per completion and ranks second in yards per pass attempt. He's thrown five touchdowns against just two interceptions, good for a passer rating of 93.2. And he's rushed for 228 yards and two touchdowns on a league-leading 8.8 yards per carry. 

He's also led the Eagles to the 12th-highest scoring offense in the league despite playing with a struggling offensive line and without his second-best receiver. 

Now let's look at the negatives. Vick is completing just 55.2 percent of his passes. He's still turned the ball over four times in four games. He's taken 14 sacks and he's holding onto the football longer than any quarterback (subscription required) in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. He's also been very inconsistent and he's especially been prone to the same poor decision-making he's been making his whole career. 

Vick isn't the problem for the Eagles this year. That's quite clear. He's played at his highest level since he won Comeback Player of the Year in 2010. 

But he's far from the solution, especially when looking at the long-term picture. 

Vick will be 34 next season, and he's a free agent after this year. For him to earn the starting job in 2014, he's going to need to A) play in all 16 games this season, B) continue and possibly even improve his play over the last three months and C) lead the Eagles deep into the postseason (minimum one postseason victory, preferably two). 

That's very likely not going to happen. So where does that leave the Eagles at the quarterback position after this season?

Well, they could go with Nick Foles. The fanbase seems to have mixed reviews on his 2012 performance, but it's definitely too early to write him off as the starter. 

They could start Matt Barkley, who will have a full year to sit on the bench and learn the position. 

Or they could use their first-round draft pick on one of a number of talented quarterbacks in this year's draft class. That's what I would do.

Look at the players who could come out this year: Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Tajh Boyd and Johnny Manziel. All have a first-round grade, according to NFL Draft Scout. 

If the Eagles can pick up a potential franchise quarterback in the 2014 draft, they have to pull the trigger.

It's not like the Eagles' defense is going to be a contender for the next two to three years anyway. There's no harm in starting a rookie at quarterback and allowing him to develop. 

Remember, this is a rebuilding team anyway. Mike Vick is a stopgap. He's a good stopgap, but he's just a stopgap. 

Had the Eagles been able to draft their guy in the 2012 draft, Vick wouldn't be here today. Don't expect him to be around in 2014 unless the expected happens regarding the Eagles' season.