I predicted that the team that signed Michael Vick would come as a surprise but I have to admit that the Eagles caught me off-guard. I've never been the biggest Donavan McNabb fan but he's taken the Eagles to 5 NFC Championship games in 9 years! Vick is certainly not going to battle McNabb for playing time. What the hell is he doing in Philadelphia then?
Vick doesn't seem likely to see time at wide receiver or running back. With Kevin Curtis, Desean Jackson, and first round pick (#19 overall) Jeremy Maclin on the roster there won't be enough balls to go around at wideout. The Eagles also spend a high pick on running back LeSean McCoy (2nd Rd., #53 overall) who figures to back-up Brian Westbrook. What the hell is he doing in Philadelphia again?
The answer is boring. He's a back-up. A back-up quarterback. Vick may be used in the wildcat formation but at this point it appears that he's an expensive back-up. The Eagles are paying him $1.6 million in 2009 with a club option for $5.2 million in 2010. This tells me that not only is it HIGHLY unlikely that Vick remains an Eagle in 2010 but that Vick may not last all of 2009.
You see, none of that $1.6 million is guaranteed. With 16 games in the season Vick will make $100K a game. The team must be really concerned about Kevin Kolb's knee injury for this deal to have even happened. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Eagles release Vick during the season if he doesn't provide a spark out of the wildcat - assuming of course that Kevin Kolb returns healthy. While McNabb isn't a spring chicken at age 32, Vick isn't far behind at age 28. The average age of NFL quarterbacks from 1995 to 2005 is somewhere in the neighborhood of 29 years old. Kevin Kolb (age 24) has a strained MCL but is listed as day-to-day. He should return in plenty of time for the regular season opener.
Simply put, Michael Vick is a longshot to make an impact with the Eagles this year. The team has too much high-priced talent (McNabb $9.2M, Westbrook $4M) and too much young talent (McCoy, Jackson, Maclin) at the skill positions to find room for Vick. But, this isn't a completely useless opportunity. For one, injuries occur fairly often in the NFL - especially to the Eagles. More importantly, even if Vick doesn't make an impact with the Eagles, a good progress report could get him a starting shot sometime in 2010.