Few expected the Philadelphia Eagles to sign Michael Vick last August. Even fewer expected him to stay with the Eagles for a second season. But after the team decided Monday to exercise a $1.5 million roster bonus for the former No. 1 draft pick turned ex con, Vick grew one step closer to staying in Philly for 2010 and not fulfilling his goal of regaining his role as an NFL starter.
It’s far from a done deal though. Though the bonus covers $1.5 million of the $5.25 million Vick is scheduled to receive this coming NFL season, there’s still a chance the Eagles could trade him before the season begins. The team is reportedly asking for a second round pick, a price which may be too steep this far from week 1. Philadelphia may be biding its time though hoping that teams become more desperate as the season approaches.
Vick would likely welcome such a deal. With Donovan McNabb looking more likely to return as Philly’s starter and Kevin Kolb still playing the role of successor, Vick would figure to see as much action as last year (which is to say, not much).
Last month he told reporters of his desire to start in the league:
It would be fairly hard [to return to the Eagles as a backup]. I know I can play in this league. I know I still have a lot of games left in me. I can be improved and be in shape and have an opportunity to go play somewhere else in the league. I’m just being optimistic and hoping that things work out in my favor. To be honest, I do want to play.”
Without a salary cap, there’s little harm in Philadelphia keeping Vick around. The $1.5 million bonus may seem like a commitment, but it’s more like an investment in a low-risk/high-yield stock. It shows other teams that they won’t get Vick on the cheap. Though no franchise may come calling until training camp, there’s no rush for Philly. Vick’s value will grow with every A.J. Feeley overthrow in St. Louis or wherever the injury bug should strike.
Vick may not like Monday’s move, but he should realize two things: First, he just got $1.5 million. Second, the best way for him to achieve his goal of starting is to not complain about it when he doesn’t.
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