The transformation is complete, the roller coaster ride is entering the loading dock, the perfect storm has been weathered. No matter how you want to articulate matters, things just came full circle for star quarterback Michael Vick yesterday as he signed a six year, $100 million contract with the Eagles, including about $40 million of which is reportedly guaranteed. We can all readily recite Vick’s tumultuous tenure in the public eye as it’s a comeback story that will probably inspire a movie someday. But when the smoke clears and the emotions begin to fade, a pretty big question has to be addressed – did Philadelphia really just do that?
Vick’s 2010 campaign was essentially the accumulation of every gridiron fans’ dream when he first entered the league. Finally, he was becoming the player that everybody that picked up a game of Madden knew he could be. Standing strong in the pocket, using his bazooka-strong arm in perfect harmony with his natural athleticism, there was a stretch where Vick looked as good as the best dual-threat quarterbacks the league has ever seen.
Until the last month of the season.
Vick was worn out by the time the playoffs came around. The blame could be placed on a litany of reasons: the fact that it was his first season starting since 2006, a poor offensive line or Vick being a 30-year-old playing a college quarterback’s game. Whatever the reason, the Eagles lost to Green Bay in a game that saw the QB putting up stats that, by his own standards, were more Clark Kent than Superman.
The Eagles have one of the best-run franchises in the sport, led by some of the sharpest talent evaluators and decision-makers in the game, which is all the more eason why a move like this is just head-scratching. Entrusting the next six years to a 31-year-old quarterback that has played like an elite talent for slightly over half a season? Where’s Vick going to be in three years? Five years? Is his arm really going to carry him later in his career once his mobility is sapped?
Philadelphia is banking hard on Vick entering the next phase of his career as gracefully as his return to the field. There’s just not enough evidence to prove that’s the case. Time will always tell, but I can’t shake the feeling that Philadelphia may have jumped the gun on this one.