The Philadelphia Eagles made their first big decision of the offseason by hiring Chip Kelly. But now Kelly must help the Eagles make their next big decision, in choosing Nick Foles, Michael Vick or anyone else as their starting quarterback. Yet after his first meetings with Foles and Vick, Kelly is still on the fence, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora on Jan. 20.
Sources told Canfora that Kelly met with his two quarterbacks on Jan. 18, but “gave neither a firm commitment for the 2013 season.” But if he were to have done that, it would have been too soon anyway.
The Eagles owe Vick a $3 million bonus on Feb. 6, which is when they are expected to cut him instead. However, with Kelly bringing his option offense to Philadelphia, Vick is projected to be a better fit for it than Foles.
As such, the Eagles have to decide whether to keep Vick and restructure his contract, on the off chance he can be revived by Kelly’s system, or stick with Foles and let Kelly readjust to him. They could find a new quarterback in the draft or free agency instead, yet no one seems ideal enough for Kelly’s game plan.
Philadelphia has two weeks before it has to make a final decision on Vick. Since it took about two weeks for the franchise to finally land Kelly and end an extensive coaching search, it makes sense. If the Eagles were willing to take their time, think things over and be patient until Kelly came to them, they should do the same with this problem as well.
However, the Eagles had actual backup options in Gus Bradley and Ken Whisenhunt if Kelly didn’t join them. If they can’t choose between Vick and Foles, there aren’t that many attractive and sensible alternates at quarterback. And if they choose wrong between Vick and Foles, it would cripple Kelly’s regime and Philadelphia in general.
Yet if Vick is unwilling to take a meaningful pay cut from the $16.5 million he is owed in 2013, the decision may be taken from Kelly’s hands. This is just one of the many dilemmas that will plague Philadelphia and its new coach up to Feb. 6, if not even longer.