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Why did Eagles pick up Vick's bonus?

The Philadelphia Eagles took the first step in retaining quarterback Michael Vick on Sunday. But appearances can be deceiving.

The Eagles exercised Vick's $1.5 million roster bonus, a decision that needed to be made before Tuesday's deadline. So is this a costly smoke screen to preserve the quarterback's trade value or do the Eagles plan to have Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Vick on the roster in 2010? I'm leaning toward the former, but there's a chance Philly could get stuck with the latter scenario.

There's no good reason to pay a backup quarterback $5.25 million, which is what Vick would be owed by the Eagles in 2010. It would be one thing if Andy Reid had found a way to turn Vick into a true weapon in '09 but we all know that wasn't the case.

One must also consider the fact that Vick doesn't see himself as a backup in this league. He really had no other choice but to say the right things in '09, but I could see frustration setting in if he's forced to be a bit player in 2010. Sure, he's grateful the Eagles gave him a place to re-launch his career, but he also knows how small his window could be as a starting quarterback in the league.

Vick's remarkable athleticism is what used to set him apart from other quarterbacks. But as he approaches 30, those rare skills will soon be on the decline. My prediction is that general manager Howie Roseman will desperately try to land a third-round pick for Vick leading up to the draft but then have to settle for a fourth-rounder.

Despite the $1.5 million bonus you're reading about today, I still don't think Vick will be on the roster in 2010. Now please delete this entry in case I'm wrong.