Vick to Philly: The Final Chapter to McNabb's Tenure?

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Vick to Philly: The Final Chapter to McNabb's Tenure?
(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

There's an old adage that says: growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

On Friday, August 14, Michael Vick signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles worth around $7 milllion.

The Eagles' current number one field general, Donovan McNabb, has had a beyond-stellar career, boasting the third highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks (1. Brady, 2. Manning). McNabb, or "Super 5" as he has become known to Philly fans, has also appeared in five Pro Bowl Games, five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.

"Super" certainly is the right word.

But growing old is mandatory and McNabb is not 23. He is 32.

Donovan, playing in front of the can't-do-right fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, has been involved in enough quarterback controversies to recognize one. And he does not see one developing between himself and Vick.

"I've been through many situations here throughout my career when they've cheered for the backup," McNabb told ESPN.com. "It happened with Garcia. It happened with Kolb. It happened with A.J. [Feeley]."

Having urged the franchise to sign Vick, McNabb is clearly comfortable with the move. Obviously, he would not inject himself into the front lines of a quarterback controversy.

What's different in 2009?

The two men aren't just mandatorily (It's a word, I looked it up) growing old, they're growing up.

Michael Vick's 60 Minutes appearance vaulted his new-found maturity into the public eye. He did everything right: he recognized that what he did was wrong, he acknowledged that he deserved the entirety of his punishments and, most importantly when asked who he blamed for the situation, Vick responded, "I blame me."

The former holder of the NFL largest contract also acknowledged his on-the-field lackings including insufficient work ethic and vowed to do everything in his capabilities to correct his faults on and off the field.

He's grown up.

McNabb's push for the Vick move proved his own maturity. Donovan has recognized that having another first-rate quarterback on the roster to burn a fire under him, to take some snaps and give some rest to him, and to possibly step into his place after a grooming period can be a very good thing.

He's grown up.

Donovan McNabb, who just signed a much-deserved 2-year contract reconstruction, will not be relinquishing his under center duties within the period of his current contract.

But if the Vick experiment pans out, if his actions reflect his new-found maturity on and off the field, if he improves his image and his game, there is nothing to stop the Eagles from putting Michael in the captain's seat of the offense assuming a peaceful split from McNabb were to take place on good terms (ie. retirement or a well-conducted, professional waiver).

If McNabb wants to stay, he will probably stay.

If he chooses to end his career in Philly or explore other career options, Michael Vick will be the one to step into the big shoes and attempt to please the crowds at Lincoln Financial Field.

Chapter One was being welcomed to the Eagles by echoing boos at the NFL Draft.

We can only watch to see if the Vick signing is the final chapter, or simply a side plot.

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