Philadelphia Eagles Rumors: Don’t Be Surprised If Michael Vick Is Released In 2013
Vick needs to make sure that he stays healthy this season to increase his chances of staying in Philadelphia long-term. (Photo: Reuters)
In 2007, Michael Vick's NFL career took a turn for the worst when was suspended by the NFL and went to jail for dogfighting that would throw arguably the most elusive quarterback in league history into an inescapable firestorm of public scrutiny and hatred.
The Philadelphia Eagles offered Vick redemption in 2009 upon his release from jail and, since then, No. 7 has brought the same excitement that he displayed in Atlanta.
The problem is that the excitement hasn't spanned for a full 16-game season mainly because of injury. While the 2009 season is the exception, Vick's entire career dating back to 2001 has exhibited a delicate and vulnerable game-changer that comes with just as much risk as reward: the $100-million man has only played a full 16-game season one time (2006) in his nine-year career.
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That's why the Eagles could give heavy thought to parting ways with Vick come early next year if injury continues to persist.
Vick, who has missed three games because of rib injuries in each of the past two seasons, bruised his ribs and the soft tissue surrounding it during Philadelphia's preseason win at the New England Patriots on Monday. Still, coach Andy Reid told reporters that he would be ready to go for the team's season opener against the Cleveland Browns.
It will be important for Vick to start healthy against the Browns and stay healthy for the rest of the 2012 season if he hopes to increase his chances of staying with the Eagles. Next season, his base salary is $15.5 million, $3 million of which is currently guaranteed for injury only, according to NFL.com. If Vick is on the Eagles' roster on the second day of the 2013 waiver period, which is usually two days after the Super Bowl, the $3 million will become fully guaranteed.
One would think that injury would benefit Vick financially then. If he's injured before or after the second day of the waiver period, it doesn't matter when he's released. He would still receive $3 million guaranteed, even if the Eagles erase $12.5 million of their books.
At the same time, however, being injured would quicken Vick's release and it will be tougher for him to find a team willing to sign him to another lucrative deal. He wouldn't make the same money or have the same security with another team after recovering from injury as he would with the Eagles having remained healthy.
Still, even if Vick performs well and is healthy this season, the Eagles might still end up releasing him for financial reasons more than football reasons. He won't have that $3 million injury guarantee, but would still account for $16.9 million of cap ($15.5 base, $1.4 signing bonus).
If a release is forthcoming, then look for Nick Foles or Mike Kafka to lead the Eagles to a title.