The moment that the Eagles contemplated trading Kevin Kolb you just knew a big pay day was in store for Michael Vick who yesterday agreed to a six year, $100 million deal that includes $40 million in guarantees.
What other choice did they have? The club lost all of its bargaining power the moment Kevin Kolb became an Arizona Cardinal.
Vick dazzled the NFL and captivated Eagles fans in 2010.
And now he has the club and those who bleed green by the short hairs.
It’s easy for a player with a checkered past to walk the straight and narrow, to talk the talk and to toe the line of conformity when the personal stakes are high. Just two years ago Vick left a federal prison. He paid dearly. He did the time and his financial bleeding was significant.
He had no one to blame but himself for the butchered dogs and a shattered career.
Then like Mighty Mouse, along came Andy Reid to save the day for Vick once he was released from the pokey.
Vick’s journey since he again joined the ranks of the free has been fairly predictable. And now that he’s successfully executed with razor sharp precision a plan to restore his status in the league and his personal balance sheet, we’ll find out just how sincere and remorseful he is.
Apparently Reid believes he is.
"I’m very proud that [Michael] has been able to achieve success again in this league”, said the Eagles skipper. “But he’ll be the first one to tell you that there is a lot of work yet to be done by him and this team as a whole.
"There’s no doubt in my mind that he will continue on that path."
C’mon Andy, there has to be a little doubt.
This contract is a big risk for the Eagles. Not only should they at least be partially haunted by Vick’s checkered past, there has to be some concern about what they will get between the lines from the gifted QB and just how long he’ll deliver it.
Only once during his eight seasons in the NFL has the 31-year-old Vick played in all 16 games. The strength of his resume lies primarily in his legs and given the Eagles suspect offensive line the odds are against 2011 being Vick’s second complete season.
Vick has won 8 games as the Eagles starter – EIGHT GAMES!
Are Reid and the Eagles’ ivory tower as enamored with Vick’s brand of football as the rest of Vickadelphia? Or did the Eagles simply paint themselves into a corner?
Vick’s new deal places him in elite company – above the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees and just beneath that of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But none of those quarterbacks is so heavily dependent upon their legs and therefore it’s safe to say their career longevity will outdistance Vick’s and they’ll perform to the level of their respective contracts.
Will Vick ever do what Donovan McNabb couldn’t? Will he even match what McNabb accomplished?
Did the league figure Vick out towards the end of the 2010 season?
Could he revert back to his thug-like ways?
These are all legitimate questions that must be lingering in the halls of 1 NovaCare Way. Time will tell if Vick will deliver the way Andy Reid expects. We can only hope.
But if he doesn’t deliver Jim Mora, Sr.’s description of Vick back in 2006 could prove to be prophetic.