All season long, even as the Eagles went from Super Bowl contender to a first-round playoff exit, the question was what to do with Michael Vick? He was playing at a level out of this world for the first half of the season, but the looming contract still hung over the franchise.
Now with the season over for the Eagles, the decision came to the forefront. Kolb or Vick? Did they buy into the season or do they continue to invest in the future? Well, according to reports, they're going with the hype. Vick is expected to be franchised and with that, one would think Kolb can now be had via trade.
While Vick definitely was deserving of the honors he received this season, is it the best long-term move for a franchise that still is searching for it's first Super Bowl championship. Here are 10 reasons why not.
Vick is an amazing talent and one of the best players in the league this season. But if you listen to anyone who watches or covers the Eagles, you'll hear too many times the Eagles were in a hole and needed Vick to bail them out. That can't happen down the road.
The Eagles have the weapons to make Vick's life a lot easier, but they have to be involved in the game. That means getting DeSean Jackson and Shady McCoy the football. That means actually running the ball.
And what about Jackson, who made it very clear he wants a new contract? He's one of the best playmakers in the game today, but too many times Jackson wasn't a factor in the Eagles' offense. He likes Vick and wants to work with him, but can Vick get him the ball enough to keep him happy. Plus, if the Eagles pay Vick, what message will that send to Jackson.
I'm not going to get into Vick's personal issues or whether or not he's changed. There is still the lingering issue of what happens if Vick finds himself in trouble again, then he could be out of the league for good. If that happens, what will the Eagles do? Will they end up in the same position the Falcons were in a couple of years ago?
With this move, it can't be good news for Kolb (okay, that's obvious). But still, this was the guy who was going to take over for Donovan McNabb. They traded out of the first round in 2007 to get him, now he could be out of town. In a perfect world, the Eagles would keep both as an insurance policy, but what will the market be for Kolb, and what will be enticing enough for the Eagles to make a deal?
If Kolb isn't traded, how do the Eagles mend that relationship now? Kolb was the starter before he was injured and subsequently lost his job to injury, which supposedly shouldn't happen. Kolb wants to start, which is only normal. What can the Eagles do now, say the starting spot is open again to a competition? How is that fair to Vick?
Of course, all of this could be moot if there's no season next year. That might be why the Eagles decided to franchise him for the one year instead of going with a long-term deal Vick is looking for. If the season is locked out, then that makes negotiations much harder considering Vick will be a year older and the negotiations will be off of the laurels of two years prior.
Vick is going to be 31 (at least) when the next NFL season starts. That's not ancient for a quarterback, as many have had successful careers in their 30's, but he is older. Vick does have some good years left in him, but how many with his playing style? And taking that into account, does that type of investment make sense for Philadelphia?
It's around his age when most of the mobile quarterbacks (Steve Young, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair) became more polished passers and their careers flourished because of it. What will happen if Vick can't make that transition?
For as good as he was most of the season, Vick was absolutely beaten up by the end of the season. The Eagles' lack of consistency and revolving door on the offensive line took its toll on Vick, who was playing hurt and struggled at the end of the year. If the Eagles offensive line doesn't improve or make significant changes, Vick won't last.
Vick was able to dominate the first half of the season because he was able to catch opposing defenses completely off-guard, especially the Redskins. But as the season went on, the game film of Vick piled up and defenses were much more able to contain him and defend him effectively. How effective will Vick be where defenses will now have gameplans and game film to defend Vick with?
Point number two leads into point number one. As the defenses got better and more prepared for Vick, he started to regress back to his old form that had him looking to run first and pass second. As he was hit more and regressed, the turnovers went up. Vick has progressed immensely as a quarterback under Marty Mornhinweg. Now that defenses have the book on him, will Vick continue to develop as a passer or become the old running Mike Vick.
If it's the latter, then he won't have much shelf life.