Michael Vick: Projecting the Prime and Twilight Years Left in His Career
The only thing we know for certain right now is that Michael Vick will be the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback in 2011. He signed his franchise tender to ensure that, but the Eagles weren't able to work out a long-term deal before the lockout became in effect.
Both sides want to work out a deal, but they can't discuss anything until a new collective bargaining agreement is put in place. The Eagles have had plenty of time to think about what they'd like to offer, so I'd expect a deal to get done shortly after the new CBA is agreed upon.
Vick's currently 30, so it should be interesting to see how long of a deal the Eagles are willing to offer. They're usually weary about players when they turn 30, but Vick did miss two seasons while in prison.
The contract should likely range between three to five years, so let's look at what Vick might do during that time.
Nick Laham/Getty Images
If the Eagles are finally going to get the Lombardi Trophy they've been looking for, this may be the season that they have the best chance of doing so. It's hard to tell right now because there has been no free agency, but all signs indicate the Eagles being very aggressive.
There are some holes that need to be filled, but the front office has some money to spend, and there are a number of players out there the Eagles can bring in to strengthen the roster.
Offensively, Vick has had the opportunity to get back into the swing of being a starting quarterback and showed he still has a ton of talent.
When he first took over the starting role, he looked unstoppable. Vick ran the ball like we saw him do in the past, but he also showed how good of a passer he can be when given time. He used his weapons to work the ball down the field, but he also was making good reads and consistently finding the open receiver.
Things were shaky down the road for Vick as he began to lose confidence in his offensive line. But he should be able to learn from his mistakes and get back to playing like he did early in the season.
His offensive line should show improvement, and he has a ton of weapons to distribute the ball to. I fully expect this to be the best season of Vick's career, and I don't see why he can't have an MVP-caliber year.
Vick's Projected Stats: 65% Comp, 3,800 Pass YD, 28 Pass TD, 8 INT, 600 Rush YD, 10 Rush TD
Al Bello/Getty Images
With the young nucleus of weapons the Eagles have on offense, the team may have a shot at redemption in 2012 if they fail to bring home a title in 2011.
The offensive line may be improved with a full year under Howard Mudd's direction, and as Vick ages, his protection will need to increase if he wants to continue to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
With his weapons still in full force, Vick should be able to find continued success. However, I have to believe this would really be the last big push for the Eagles to win a championship under Vick.
If the Eagles don't win it all, or at least get very close, we could see Andy Reid leaving Philadelphia. I don't think that would help Vick.
Vick's Projected Stats: 62% Comp, 3,600 Pass YD, 26 Pass TD, 10 INT, 475 Rush Yd, 8 Rush TD
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
To me, this is really the toss up season. I think Vick can definitely have two great seasons, but what will he be able to do after that? Will 2013 be the beginning of the end?
It's extremely hard to speculate, but everyone has to begin their downfall at some point. Vick is the kind of guy to put his body on the line on every play, and it will eventually catch up with him. His legs will no longer be the asset they once were, and he'll have to rely more on his arm.
Do I believe the Eagles have the chance to win a championship in 2011 or 2012 with Vick at the helm? I really do. However, I don't know if he'll be a championship-caliber quarterback beyond that.
A playoff-caliber quarterback? Sure.
I don't think Vick has a very big window to win a championship in Philadelphia, and I think the window may start to close in 2013.
Vick's Projected Stats: 62% Comp, 3,400 Pass YD, 21 Pass TD, 12 INT, 350 Rush YD, 5 Rush TD
Al Bello/Getty Images
At this point, the Eagles may very well be more focused on preparing the next long-term quarterback. I may be wrong, but there has to be some type of transition point somewhere. Vick isn't going to get an extension after the new deal he's was given this year.
The quarterback of the Eagles future probably isn't even on the roster at this point, but you have to wonder if Vick will play a full season by this time. His style of play doesn't project him to play forever, so it's hard to believe he'll be able to compete at the level he can now, this far down the road.
The window may be closing for Vick by 2014. He'll have a few good years to make a serious run at a title, but every athlete's career slowly has to come to an end.
I think the Eagles will likely be trying to prepare the new quarterback of the future at this point.
Vick's Projected Stats: 58% Comp, 2,400 Pass YD, 14 Pass TD, 8 INT, 250 Rush YD, 3 Rush TD