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The Vick Predicament

The fans of Philadelphia no doubt have a love/hate relationship with Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.  They hated him when the Eagles signed Vick in August of 2009 after 2 years in prison on dogfighting charges.  They loved him when he became the starting quarterback in 2010 and tore up the NFC with his arm and legs.  Vick became hated again after a mediocre year in 2011 where he struggled to be effective and healthy.  The hatred continued when he threw five interceptions in the 2012 opener against the Browns and a lackluster effort in Arizona, but it was regained each time with game winning drives versus Baltimore and New York.  The point is, whether you like Vick or not, he has not done much to carve himself a place in the hearts of his fans.  The only people who have a say in Vick’s future is Andy Reid and the Eagles front office.  Vick was signed to a 6-year, 100 million dollar deal last August, but the Eagles can cut him after this season if they see fit.  This begs the question, should he stay or should he go?

Vick has not played 16 games since 2006 with the Falcons, a season in which he rushed for over 1000 yards and threw for nearly 2500 yards.  After a 2010 season where he threw for 21 touchdowns, rushed for 9 TDs, and only tossed 6 picks.  Through 4 games in 2012, he has equaled his interception total from that year, and he only has 5 total TDs.  Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), which measures the statistical effectiveness and clutchness of a quarterback on a scale from 1 to 100, has Vick at 55.4 in 2012 (50 is average).  In 2011, his QBR was 64.4, and it was at 68 in 2010.  In the past four seasons, the only two quarterbacks that won a Super Bowl had a QBR over 60 in the year that they won.  So it is possible for the Eagles to win with Vick, even if he struggles under center.  The two QBs that had sub-60 QBRs, Ben Rothlisberger and Eli Manning, both obviously had outstanding defenses that helped them out.  Whether the Eagles D and running game can help him out enough is still undecided.

When Vick gets hurt this season, and I say when because there is no way he can play 16 games without getting hurt for how many times he gets hit, Nick Foles will be the man in Philadelphia.  The rookie completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 4334 yards and 28 touchdowns in his senior year at Arizona.  Foles shined in the preseason, beating out Mike Kafka and and veteran Trent Edwards for the back-up quarterback spot.  If Vick is released this after this season, Foles will become the starter for the Eagles.  The Eagles front office obviously must decide if it is better to commit to Vick for 4 more years and use up nearly 65 million more dollars, or to start fresh and build around Foles.

This decision will revolve around how well Foles plays in the NFL.  If he proves that he is ready to start in the NFL, Vick may be shown the door.  If he struggles in his limited opportunity, Vick will be here for another 4 years.

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