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What’s market for Michael Vick?


Michael Vick

What’s market for Michael Vick?

If he’s done in Philly, will age, lack of durability and price tag make teams wary?

By Ashley Fox

     There was plenty of stuff in Michael Vick’s locker stall at the Eagles’ practice facility Wednesday. There were a couple of unopened packages, more than a dozen shirts, a half-dozen shoes and flip-flops, shoulder pads, a football, lotion, teammate Trent Cole’s charging iPhone. A Black playbook sat on Vick’s chair buried under more mail. There were two things missing: a red practice jersey all the Eagles’ quarterbacks wear, and Vick himself.

    These are trying times for the 32-year-old quarterback. Vick still has not been cleared to practice after suffering a concussion against Dallas in Week 10. His team has lost eight straight games and is 3-9. His beloved coach, Andy Reid, is likely on the verge of getting fired. Vick’s contract calls for a $15.5 million salary in 2013, but the Eagles owe him nothing if they cut him in the days after the Super Bowl.

    Depending on how Nick Foles plays these last few games, it is possible the Eagles will keep Vick. It is essentially a foregone conclusion that Reid will lose his job, but maybe the next coach will decide Vick is the team’s best option for 2013, and maybe Vick is willing to renegotiate a more realistic salary given his performance. But if that doesn’t happen, no one seems to agree how hard of a time Vick might have finding another starting job. Working in his favor is the fact that neither the free-agent market nor the draft is loaded with starting quarterbacks. Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III aren’t out there.

But there probably won’t be an abundance of jobs. The most optimistic projection would be eight teams, but realistically, the number is probably closer to four, maybe five. Likely openings include Arizona, Kansas City and Philadelphia. The Jets might part ways with Mark Sanchez, although they owe him $8.5 million in guaranteed money next season. Buffalo probably will stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jacksonville, Tennessee and Minnesota have second-year quarterbacks who have not performed at a consistent level or have been hurt, but two years is a relatively small sample size for a franchise quarterback. Oakland might be another possibility.

    And there is the matter of Vick’s résumé. He will be 33 when next season begins. He completed 58.5 percent of his passes in nine games this season, threw nine interceptions and lost five fumbles. Philadelphia asked Vick to be something he isn’t — a pocket passer — and the Eagles struggled to score, were terrible in the red zone and were anything but an explosive offense. It didn’t help that four-fifths of the offensive line got hurt, and the backup linemen were average at best.

    Nevertheless, Vick has lost some of the speed that made him so elusive when he burst back on the scene in 2010. He can’t run away from defenders like he used to. And he hasn’t played a full season since 2006, when he was in Atlanta. In the past three seasons, he has had two concussions and broken ribs, and has missed 10 games, a total that probably will climb to 14 by season’s end.

    “He’s got a problem figuring out where to go,” one scout said.

    Not so, said a general manager.



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