Crystal Ball: Michael Vick
The Eagles have eight players that are set to become unrestricted free agents: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Michael Vick, Nate Allen, Donnie Jones, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson and Clifton Geathers.
Tim and Sheil will look at one free agent per day and give their take on what should and what will happen with these players. Maclin was up first. And they tackled Cooper yesterday. Now it’s onto Vick.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN
Kapadia: It’s in the best interest of both parties to move on.
The Eagles need to get their backup situation sorted out, but Vick still believes he can be a starter. He was a fantastic teammate during his time in Philadelphia, and that’s part of the issue. The players in the Eagles’ locker room still love Vick. Just last week, as players cleaned out their lockers, several posed for photos with Vick and asked him to sign some of their gear.
If Nick Foles were to struggle for a couple games in 2014, guys would start to wonder why Chip Kelly wasn’t giving Vick the starting job back.
The guess here is that the Eagles draft a quarterback at some point. Let the new guy and Matt Barkley compete for the backup job. Barkley didn’t look good in fill-in duty last season, but he should be able to get to a backup level in Year 2. If not, there might not be a reason for him to be on the team – especially when you consider what Foles just accomplished in his second season.
Vick, meanwhile, should go to a team with a shaky QB situation or an injury-prone starter. He turns 34 in June. Can’t really blame him for wanting one final shot.
McManus: The Eagles should leave the door open for a Vick return.
The 33-year-old QB wants to move on and believes his time in Philly has come to an end. But the same was true following the 2012 season. As his emotions settled and the market came into focus, Vick recognized that his best course of action was to remain with the Eagles and compete for the starting job under Kelly.
Right now, Vick isn’t even considering the Eagles as an option because he has his eye on a starting gig. Understandable. But the market isn’t yet defined (and may not be until after the draft). There’s a chance Philly becomes more desirable as the weeks roll on.
Vick transitioned into the backup role gracefully this season and proved to be an asset to both Foles and the team overall. The free-agent crop looks weak and Barkley is still an unknown. If they don’t draft a QB come May, the Eagles should try to convince Vick to come back for one last hurrah.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
Kapadia: This one’s not really different from my first answer. I think both parties move on.
Taking a glance around the league, here are the teams I consider to have unsettled QB situations: the Jets, Bengals, Browns, Titans, Jaguars, Texans, Raiders, and Vikings. Now some of those teams (the Texans and Browns come to mind) will undoubtedly target their QBs of the future in the draft. But maybe Vick can get a chance to compete at one of the other spots.
I know that if coaches and GMs call Kelly or Andy Reid about Vick, they’ll get glowing reviews about his work ethic, leadership, etc. As I seem to write in this space every day, it only takes one team in free agency.
As for the Eagles, I laid out their options above. They could also look to sign a backup on the open market if Kelly identifies someone he really likes. But my guess is they go into next season with Foles, Barkley and a rookie signal-caller on the 53-man roster.
McManus: I believe Vick is gone. I’d put my money on the Jets or Vikings right now as possible landing spots.
Lots can change over the next few months. A quarterback-needy team might not look so needy after selecting a QB in the draft, for instance. Unless a team is really hot after Vick, he may have to wait a while for the market to set. Once it does, the Eagles could look more appealing.
“I feel like we have a conversation every year about Mike not being back, and you just don’t know how things are going to work out,” said Howie Roseman.
Ultimately, I think Vick finds opportunity elsewhere.