Older people, much less old people, don’t generally fare well with the Philadelphia Eagles. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done.
Whether you’re the face of the franchise for many years, as well as Campbells Chunky Soup, with 5 NFC Championship appearances and 6 Pro-Bowl selections such as Donovan McNabb. Or if you’re the heart and soul of the defense for over a decade like Brian Dawkins. 30 may be the new 20, but as far as the Eagles are concerned, you might as well relocate to the nearest senior center once you wave goodbye to your 20′s.
Not that I blame them. Like any other business, the Eagles have decisions to make, and throwing around max contracts to players who are up there in age, less likely to finish their contract, much less play up to it, are not necessarily the best investment.
Which leads me to scratching my head with Michael Vick.
Vick had a renaissance year, winning comeback player of the year award, showing everyone the visions many had for so many years when first drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. A combination of speed and arm strength from a quarterback which has never been seen in the NFL. Vick had finally put both to use, and was not simply a QB on the run. Vick threw for over 3,000 yards for the first time ever, had a TD:INT ratio of 21-6, and had a career-high in completion percentage at 62.6%.
Is a career year enough to throw $100 million, with $40 million guaranteed, for a 31-year-old injury-prone quarterback?
I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is, why are the Eagles all of a sudden willing to take a chance where they would generally steer clear of.
Vick’s style of play is based on his explosiveness and ability to improv on any given play. That comes with a more hits than your standard savvy pocket quarterback like Peyton Manning. Vick missed 3 games last season due to injury.
Then there’s the expectation that Vick’s previous season is a sign of things to come, and not in fact lightning in a bottle. Once again, I bring up his age because, well, performance-enhancing drugs aside, athletes’ athleticism tends to fade over time, which Vick heavily relys on.
Whether or not you agree with the Eagles decision to throw bags of money to Vick is irrelevant. It’s simply the fact that Philadelphia went away from their typical ways of management and signed an older player to a long-term deal. They must have the utmost confidence in Vick as they traded Kevin Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in 2012 (Although a young Pro-Bowl corner and a top-50 selection may be more valuable if they feel Kolb was simply ordinary and replaceable, but a discussion for another time).
All factors considered, it’s odd to see the Eagles do what they did. Let’s just see if Vick can live up to his contract and can fly like an eagle. To a Super Bowl win that is.
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