The Philadelphia Eagles once again reached a disappointing conclusion to a strong regular season with a home loss to the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the playoffs. Perhaps this was the most disappointing finish ever considering the all-around offensive talent on Philadelphia's roster, particularly in quarterback Michael Vick.
Now officially in the offseason, the Eagles face a variety of questions—most notably at the quarterback position. Michael Vick is a free agent, and, despite questions of character issues that loom, he will receive a hefty contract because of his performance this season.
Philadelphia does have a backup plan in Kevin Kolb. Andy Reid and the Eagles continue to value Kolb highly despite less than impressive performances in minimal playing time this season. Kolb has one year left on his contract, but he has already requested a trade or release if the Eagles retain Vick as a starting quarterback.
Because of how highly the Eagles value Kolb, it may be difficult to trade the fourth year quarterback out of the University of Houston. Philadelphia was once rumored to be asking two first round draft picks for Kolb who has started just six games in his career. It is hard to imagine any team willing to meet this steep asking price.
Michael Vick, on the other hand, is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Since he will be a 31 year old quarterback with a history of injuries and aggressive running style, Michael Vick may not be the most attractive option to give a long term guaranteed contract.
More likely, the Eagles will attempt to apply the franchise tag to Vick this offseason, although that may be influenced by negotiations between the owners and the NFL Players Association this spring.
According to Vick, "it really doesn't matter" whether he receives a long term contract or the franchise tag. However, one could guess that Vick will surely value a nice salary given his debt constraints.
In the end, it will have to be Vick. He is still a dynamic playmaker and one of the best athletes in the NFL. Kevin Kolb, on the other hand, is an unproven player despite four years in the NFL. Choosing Kolb over Vick would simply be unintelligent and an enormous risk given the difference in experience and proof of play.