The 2010 season was a magical one. Unfortunately, the magic ran out in the first round of the playoffs for Michael Vick. After sitting on the bench for all of 2009, Vick was thrust into the starting role when Kevin Kolb went down in week 1.
He made the most of it. He stepped in and led the Eagles to the NFC East title. He showed the NFL why he still belongs in the league along the way. He had the best statistical year of his career: 3,018 yards passing, 21 TD, six interceptions and a 100.2 passer rating (whatever that stat means). He showed great work ethic off the field. He said all the right things in public.
But was it enough?
While Vick had his best statistical year of his career, he did most of his best work in the early games of the season. Once defenses around the league figured him out, he was a turnover machine and seemed to revert to the Mike Vick of old: putting his head down and running. He also showed that he is not very durable, playing in only 12 of 16 contests. With the addition of two games to the regular season almost imminent, this has to be taken into account by the Eagles front office.
The Philadelphia Eagles will also need to consider the "off the field" Vick. He has kept his nose clean, for the most part, since being released from prison. Have we seen enough to prove he can handle success and be the franchise quarterback?
The one thing that we do know about Vick is that he makes poor decisions. He did not run a dog-fighting ring because he is a stupid person. I believe that Vick is a very intelligent person. I also believe he makes poor decisions and gets himself into poor situations. Unfortunately, this also translates onto the field at times. If the recent history of the Eagles has shown us anything, it's that they are not in the business of investing in poor decision-makers.
Philadelphia made a great move by slapping the franchise tag on Vick and signing him to a one-year deal. This will give the team another year to evaluate whether or not he is worth the investment. It may not make him happy, but he really doesn't have a dog in the fight. (Too soon?)
The other angle to look at is the developing situation with Kevin Kolb. He has stated that he his happy in Philadelphia, but wants to be starting "somewhere". I hope the front office is listening, because several other front offices around the NFL are. Most notably are the Arizona Cardinals, who may be willing to to pay a lot to help their desperate QB situation.
Kolb has mounds of potential, and plenty of teams would love to give him a chance to be their starter. He has one year left on his current contract with the Eagles. The last they should do is go into a season with two disgruntled QBs, only to lose them both at season's end. Maybe letting Vick go is the answer? Nah, Reid has too much love for him.