Wow. What an offseason.
Michael Vick signing with the Eagles clearly is the biggest news to date (all apologies to Brett Favre Watch), and it looks like a win-win to me. Several teams were interested in Vick, but he made a wise choice, picking an organization that has strong leadership in coach Andy Reid and president Joe Banner, a sound structure and a winning philosophy. And for the Eagles, they add an asset that could help them both now and in the future. Reid has the heft and the gruff personality to deflect the PR aspect of this and try to handle the media circus that will ensue.
For Vick, the money is very good — $1.6 million for this season and the chance to earn more than $5 million in 2010 — given his transgressions and time away from the game. There were concerns about the infrastructure and organizational strength of some teams that were interested in Vick, but there are no such concerns with the Eagles. Vick goes to a team that already has a strong, if oddly embattled, starting quarterback in Donovan McNabb and a creative offensive mind who can cull the best out of his talent in Reid. It’s a West Coast system similar to what Vick ran for a time in Atlanta, and he obviously could do things in a Wildcat formation with players such as RB Brian Westbrook and WR DeSean Jackson also capable of being weapons in that alignment. And I’d take Vick over Kevin Kolb as my backup quarterback if given the choice.
Yes, it’s an investment for the Eagles, but for someone with this skill set and at the quarterback position, it hardly will break their bank. The team essentially “bought low” and, given how the contract is structured, could “sell high” should it choose.
The Eagles add an incredibly motivated player, someone who’s trying to salvage his career and reputation and someone who could help them win games — at least in a modified role — right away. Vick won’t have to compete to be a starter this season. He can take his time.
Sure, some things still need to be hashed out. You’ll recall that Vick struggled in the West Coast system, and I’m not sure McNabb will be totally thrilled with this scenario, given his sometime tenuous relationship with the organization and fans in his constant struggle to prove himself (I don’t understand that dynamic, given how good McNabb has been, but that’s a blog for another day).
But, as one member of the Eagles’ organization put it, they have other things besides Vick to sort out. The injury bug is a concern right now — particularly on the offensive line. How rookie defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is able to fill at least some of the void left by Jim Johnson’s passing is a huge question. But if I’m an Eagles fan, I’m excited about the addition of a singular athletic talent who comes aboard after what already was a good looking offseason.