A couple Michael Vick-related items to get to:
In the name of suspense (OK, in the name of filling time during the NFL’s quiet period), ESPN is revealing Ron Jaworski‘s quarterback rankings little by little. They started at 32 and will gradually work their way up. Yesterday marked the beginning of that process. And already Vick’s name has appeared. According to Jaws, Vick is the 25th best signal-caller in the league, just one slot ahead of Brandon Weeden. He is in the company of Chad Henne, Kevin Kolb and Jake Locker.
That’s a precipitous fall for the 2010 MVP candidate.
But it shouldn’t come as that great of a shock considering how the last two seasons have gone for the former No. 1 overall pick. He is 10-13 as a starter since 2011 and has accounted for 32 turnovers in that stretch. While there were factors that aided in his dip in production — like, say, the fact that he didn’t have an offensive line last year — this is a bottom line business and recently the bottom line hasn’t looked so hot.
Last year, Vick was 24th in passer rating (78.1) and 25th in completion percentage (58.1).
We don’t need Jaws’ rankings to know that Vick is not currently considered an elite quarterback; the fact that he is in a fight for the starting job tells us that.
Mike Florio wonders what will happen with Vick if Nick Foles gets the nod.
Kelly may want to keep Vick as the backup to Foles, even though Vick will be making a base salary of $3.5 million, seven times more than Foles’ second-year salary of $500,000. But if Vick is going to be a backup, he may want to go to a team where he thinks he has a better chance of playing.
Moreover, the indignity of getting benched when Vick has declared it’s still “my team” and “my job” could be enough to prompt Vick to want to move on.
Vick’s attitude in this circumstance will be a big key. Will he accept his role and be content staying in Philly, where he has established roots? Or, with the clock ticking on his career, will he want to move to a team that will give him a better chance to start? And will he have those kind of options? Vick’s $3.5 million base salary becomes guaranteed at the start of the regular season, so Chip Kelly and the Eagles have time to let this whole thing play out.
Vick could return to 2010 form under Kelly or he could struggle. He might shoot up Jaws’ board like a firework, or he might be fighting just to stay in the league. With Vick, you never know.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Kelly calls on Dick Vermeil as he gets adjusted to the NFL.
How will the up-tempo offense affect the offensive line?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Geoff Mosher believes that Foles has a better chance of landing the starting gig than Vick.
Now, it’s obvious to me that Vick actually has the toughest road to the starting job, more than Foles or [Matt] Barkley. At 33, which he turned last month, he’s far and away the oldest quarterback on the roster. At more than $7 million this year, he’s also far and away the most expensive. New coaches tend to build their programs around young franchise signal callers, not aging ones whose best days are well behind them.
It also helps that Foles and Barkley are much more salary-cap friendly than Vick. Even if it’s a tie between Vick and Foles or Vick and Barkley as training camp progresses this summer, what impetus would Kelly have to stick with Vick?
Matt Bowen at ESPN.com writes that the read-option was an effective attack against DeMarcus Ware last season. Something to keep in mind when the Eagles and Cowboys play this year.
Ware (and the Cowboys’ defense) struggled against RG III and the Redskins last season in the Week 17 loss because of the read-option. Playing as an outside linebacker in the 3-4, Ware was hesitant on the edge, didn’t attack the dive and opened up clear running lanes for Alfred Morris.
As Ware transitions to the 4-3, he will still be the primary read for option quarterbacks (read: edge man on the line of scrimmage) as they ride the running back through the mesh point. And, although I believe NFL defenses will be much more prepared to play (and produce) versus the various option schemes out of the gun and pistol alignments this season, running it is still another way to slow down Ware’s first step.
Nineteen days until training camp. We’ll get you there.