The Philadelphia Eagles originally pointed to Feb. 6 as D-Day for Michael Vick. For months, it looked like the Eagles would cut Vick on this day in order to save $3 million, and to save on the $15.5 million they’re on the hook for later in 2013. However, the real D-Day for Philadelphia and Vick is now set to fall on Mar. 12.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer on Feb. 5, Vick will not be cut by the Eagles after all, at least not yet. Thanks to a provision in Vick’s contract, Philadelphia can keep Vick and not give him his $3 million bonus until the start of free agency on Mar. 12. Even then, if another team picks him up afterwards and signs him for more than $3 million, the Eagles won’t have to pay.
Letting him go would also let the Eagles save $15.5 million that Vick is owed for the 2013 season. But if the Eagles are going to keep Vick around next year, they won’t do it without drastically cutting his salary first. However, he has shown no signs of being willing to renegotiate yet, although he may have more leverage these days.
With Chip Kelly on board as head coach, his option offense is a far better fit for Vick than for Nick Foles. If neither Foles nor Kelly can adapt, or if the Eagles can’t find an ideal quarterback in the NFL draft or free agency, then the team may be stuck with Vick.
In that case, if Philadelphia really has no better options, then Vick can stand firm on keeping his contract the way it is. At the least, he can negotiate a smaller salary decrease that can let both sides save face. But with these kinds of tricky decisions ahead, it’s no wonder that the Eagles want to put them off for another month.
Still, buying time like this will only work once. This next month will determine the future of the franchise and of Kelly’s regime, months before the 2013 season even starts. As such, the Eagles have to think hard and decide if an aging, banged up Vick is really better than nothing -- if there really is nothing else to find over the next five weeks.