Michael Vick’s Future Following Foles’ Appointment
The story of the day has been Nick Foles being named the starter, but I can’t help but be intrigued by Michael Vick.
Vick, who was voted the most hated player in the league this year…and seemingly every other year, has been a model teammate in Philly. I wrote months ago about how I buy Vick as a changed man and, after this week’s events, I feel even stronger in that opinion. He went ahead and named Foles the starter before Chip Kelly and has graciously bowed out of a job he lost due to injury.
“In all honesty, in all fairness, how can you take a guy out of the game who’s been playing so well?” he said on Friday. And today when the announcement was official, “You can’t be naïve. You’ve got to understand the situation. You’ve got to just know the most important thing for you to do is try to be there to support your team.”
Vick understands that it’s the nature of the business. Young players supplant players, especially at quarterback.
But the obvious undertone here is where will Vick play next year? Is there anywhere he can start?
The first level of competition would be fellow free agents. The main competition, and I say that lightly, is Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman, and Chad Henne. Cutler is almost certainly going to be a Bear next season either under the franchise tag, which he’s open to, or a long-term deal. Henne will be considered a quality back-up option, but nothing more. Leaving Freeman as his only guy that really competes in Vick’s market and his stock has fallen in Minnesota.
The next thing to look at is the teams who could consider a change at QB. Here’s the two likeliest destinations for Vick:
Saint Louis Rams: The Rams were the last team to be gutted by bad rookie contracts when they drafted Sam Bradford for six years, $86 million dollars. He’s been a below-average option and not nearly worth the amount of money he’s making. Most of Bradford’s salary isn’t guaranteed this year and he’s owed $14 million so it could be time for a change. Jeff Fisher inherited Bradford and has had success in the past with mobile quarterbacks Steve McNair and Vince Young. However, they may get a top pick if the Redskins fall to the top of the draft.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans are another 5-6 team which troubles at QB. Jake Locker has struggled to stay on the field (he’ll be missing the rest of this season with a foot injury) and he’s at the bottom of the NFL in most passing categories. For a team that loaded up for a playoff run this year by adding guys like Delanie Walker, Andy Levitre, and Bernard Pollard they might not be willing to wait for Locker any longer.
The rest of the bad teams with QB needs (Jacksonville, Houston, Minnesota, and Cleveland) will likely duke it out for the top QB’s that come out in the draft and wouldn’t touch Vick unless they miss out on their favorite players.
As a result, while Vick has performed well and evolved into a good guy he might not be able to transition that into a starting gig. He’ll be a free agent during a rough year. So the next, more reasonable option is Vick coming back to the Eagles.
Vick was the consensus starter and didn’t lose the job due to his own play. In the same way that the screen game benefits Foles’ skill set, the read option provides Vick an opportunity to thrive. For a price of two or three years and $4 million a season Vick would be a hell of a back-up option for this team considering he’s content with the role. The Eagles get a quality back-up that knows the system and Vick gets reasonable security without having to move. You can then use the third spot for the developmental QB (Barkley or whoever else).
If I were to guess I’d say that Vick ends up back in Philly. I think it’s possible, but not likely that Tennessee or Saint Louis pay him the kind of cash that he wants as a starter at what will be 34 years old. He’s a stop gap in that role.
I obviously like the move, but what do you think? Would you like Vick on the bench?
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