Philadelphia Eagles Land Michael Vick

Malcolm DiazCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

ESPN.com reported  last night that quarterback Michael Vick has signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. His agent, Joel Segal, has confirmed the report.

The Eagles will hold a news conference this morning to announce the signing.

The deal is for $1.6 million in the first year with an option for the second year at $5.2 million. Vick can also earn an additional $3 million in incentives over the two years of the contract, according to ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli.

Vick was the Atlanta Falcons No. 1 draft pick in 2001 and was once the highest-paid player in football.

Not a bad rebound for the beleaguered Vick. Vick has been mired with bankruptcy ever since he was convicted in August 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting operation, listing assets of about $16 million and debts of more than $20 million.

Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for his transgressions. Vick has not played since 2006, ironically, his last game being against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick is a three-time Pro Bowler, rushing for 1,039 yards in 2006, the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. His 8.45 yards a carry average for the 2006 season is also an NFL record. Vick appeared in 74 regular season games (67 starts) from 2001-06, completing 930 of 1,730 passes for 11,505 yards and 71 touchdowns. He rushed for 3,859 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is 2-2 as a starter in the playoffs, both losses coming once again at the hands of his new team the Eagles.

While there will be a lot of noise about the implications of this signing, for the immediate future it will be a lot to do about nothing as Vick can immediately take part in preseason practices, workouts and meetings but can only play in the final two preseason games. Commissioner, Roger Goodell, will not decide the rest of Michael’s future in the NFL until the second half of October.

Donovan McNabb seems completely at ease with the signing, claiming he actually campaigned for it. McNabb stated emphatically last night that he was in fact the QB of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles went to the playoffs last season under quarterback Donovan McNabb, but still seek their elusive first Super Bowl win.

McNabb has led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in the last eight years. A career history that prompted the Eagles to rewarded McNabb with a $5.3 million raise this offseason. With two years remaining on his contract, the Eagles gave him a new deal worth $24.5 million over the next two seasons.

Sounds to me like McNabb has good reason to feel secure about this move.

McNabb said he would not have a problem with losing some snaps to Vick in a Wildcat formation. He pointed to Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington who concedes snaps to running back Ronnie Brown in the Wildcat formation.

McNabb even speculated on what a backfield with Vick, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy might look like.

It seems, so far, that McNabb’s Eagles teammates are like minded in their support for Vick’s signing.

The Eagles — who heard rumblings from the crowd at last night’s 27-25 preseason loss to the New England Patriots — weren’t officially informed of the signing until after the game.

They were visibly happy in the locker room afterward.

“He’s definitely going to be embraced, the NFL is a fraternity of brothers. When you bring in a guy who’s been through the things that he’s been through, you want to surround him and protect him as much as possible because everybody’s out there throwing stones at him.

We want to be the protector, to let him know that once he comes in here it’s safe havens. No one’s going to judge you in here because any one of us can stumble. When somebody does fall like that, you bring him back in and you embrace him. You’re still a person. You’re still our brother.” – Eagles cornerback Ellis Hobbs

“In my opinion, they (fans) should be happy, even though he did whatever he did, I don’t feel like nobody should hold a grudge on him. It’s the past. He has to move on. Hopefully, they’ll accept him and be fans of him.” – receiver DeSean Jackson

I have to say that I am more than OK with this move by the Eagles. I agree that this team is strong enough to deal with the flack that comes with it. We are talking about Philly fans here…these guys boo anything and everything so you know the team has some seriously thick skin.

I think McNabb has been money for the team more than long enough to be secure in his position and will not be looking over his shoulder. Even if the Eagles decide to part ways with him, after this initial year, Vick will have gotten his foot in the door with the NFL and, I believe, that he will once again have an impact in the league.

He is simply too dynamic not to.

The only real question left is how will the Eagles utilize him when he is finally free to play without limits? Will he be part of a monster backfield that keeps defensive coordinators awake at night? Will he line up as a receiver, jiving and juking his way into the minds of CB's the league over or will he play a part as a qb?

The man’s versatility is incredible and provided his conditioning is up to par and his natural talents haven’t diminished, the possibilities for the Eagles are boundless. As a casual, outside observer, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

I don’t think you can be a fan of football and not want to see what will become of this young man. Love him or hate him, you’ll probably be curious too.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.