NFC East: Joey Harrington
|Geoff Burke/US Presswire|
|Quarterback Michael Vick has signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
On the surface, the Eagles are getting an immensely talented player at a relatively low rate. But they could end up paying a far higher price than the $1.6 million they've reportedly committed to Michael Vick over the first year of his contract.
Andy Reid's taken a team that fell one game short of a Super Bowl in 2008 and he's added one of the most notorious players in the game's history. Yes, Vick has served his prison time, but in a lot of ways he'll still be held captive by his past.
Unless the Eagles tell us Friday that Vick will play a position other than quarterback -- and I don't think they will -- you're going to have a combustible situation from the start. I believe that Donovan McNabb will publicly support the move, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a very proud and sensitive player. Maybe the Eagles asked for his blessing. But then again, they didn't ask for his blessing when they benched him against the Ravens last November.
I don't know how long it will take Vick to get in football shape, but he's still young and athletic enough to be successful at the quarterback position. Right now, I'm not even sure the West Coast offense is a good fit for him. It's a timing-based passing game, and timing's never been one of Vick's strengths. He's never completed 57 percent of his passes, and during his last season in the league (2006), the Falcons had one of the worst passing offenses in the league. In 2007, they had a dreadful combination of Joey Harrington, Chris Redman and Byron Leftwich -- and that team actually moved up 14 spots in terms of overall passing.
The Eagles will probably use Vick in some type of Wildcat formation since that's all the rage in the NFL. He could be a tremendous threat in that role, but I still don't think that's worth the risk of having him on the roster.
With a man like Tony Dungy in his life, I do think Vick will walk the straight and narrow. But Vick's presence alone is going to be a huge sideshow for Reid and the Eagles. The president of the Eagles, Joe Banner, has already said the Eagles have the most talent in the NFL. I'm not sure a backup quarterback was the missing piece to finally winning a Super Bowl.
Again, I realize there's not much risk involved in terms of what happens on the field with Vick. What I'd be worried about is the message it sends to the team. The Eagles already play in a community that can be ruthless. Now they've in effect welcomed one more distraction.
Anyone remember what happened the last time the Eagles attempted to make a huge splash? Terrell Owens had the one great year, and then he did his best to wreck the team's locker room. Maybe I'll change my mind. But right now, I think the Eagles are asking for trouble.
On my list of concerns for this team, backup quarterback actually ranked pretty low. Judging by their actions, the Eagles had a much different mindset. I'm very interested to see if they'll be upfront with their plans for using Vick. I think it will take him at least a month to be ready for game action. And even then, I can't imagine that his timing would be that good.
He won't be the same quarterback he was in Atlanta. That player no longer exists. But if he still has 80 percent of his athleticism, he can be a factor in the league.
ensen and Steve Young weigh in on the Eagles' signing of Michael Vick.
For those of you who were busy observing Labor Day, the Baltimore Ravens held a quarterbacks tryout Monday that one longtime scout described as "The Gong Show." Cowboys fans have been interested in Chris Simms since he was at the University of Texas, but I'm told he had a rough workout. Stalwarts Todd Bouman and Joey Harrington also stopped by the non-televised event.
As I told you Sunday, the Cowboys will wait until after the Browns game to sign former Jets and Vikings quarterback Brooks Bollinger -- unless someone swoops in and grabs him. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is a Simms fan, but the club's personnel department may have a different opinion.
In other news, Cowboys defensive tackle Tank Johnson has switched from No. 66 to No. 95 because he "works 9 to 5."