Ten years in the NFL and 19 months in prison can put a lot of wear and tear on the human body, especially when you play QB the way Michael Vick does. But at age 33, is Vick looking at the end of the rope for his playing days?
Very few people have gone from being loved by an entire country to being hated as quickly as Vick did. And although many people still have strong detest for his actions off the field, Vick has paid his price – he spent the peak of his career behind bars.
Still, he signed a new contract this offseason, a one-year deal worth up to $10 million. But is a QB with his best days behind him worth all that money?
So far, the answer is no. It is still unsure if Vick will beat out Nick Foles – who isn’t really anything to write home about – for the starting position for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles desperately need a strong starting QB. They have so much talent on the team, and so much speed at the Wide Receiver position that only gets older with each year. But clearly Vick hasn’t been the answer.
Although Vick has had two winning seasons with the Eagles, along with a Pro Bowl, he still does not have a playoff win for them. And since the Eagles are in one of the most competitive divisions in all of football, someone who cannot perform in the playoffs, let alone the regular season, and is aging is not someone to base the team around.
I do not want to take Vicks heart and effort to go unnoticed. This guy basically puts his life on the line every time he plays. He gets hurt often, very often. But he plays through it. How many times – per game – can you see him make a broken play into something positive?
But this hard work comes at a price. QB’s in general get beat up, but no one gets punished quite like Vick. His ribs, neck, shoulders and head can only take so much more abuse. And his style of play cannot change this late in his life. He is not a pocket passer. He makes his best throws on the move, and he is constantly sweeping to the outside when he does not see an open target.
Can the Eagles get something for him? Maybe. Some teams need a solid QB, but a team that would trade for Vick could not build a system around him. And of course, the Eagles could keep him. The fans like him. He’s exciting to watch. And you know he will give it his all, whether he is the starter or only gets a few snaps a season.
It is upsetting watching the dwindling career of a once-great superstar. Players like Vick come around only so often. And now, older, slower, jail-ridden and injury-prone, he doesn’t have much left in him.
Vick should easily earn the starting position this season. But depending on his play, and if he gets injured – again – I don’t know if there’s much of a career after this. But even as a back up, practice player or just a guy to have on the team to mentor a young QB, he’s worth having around.
Say what you will about him. Love him or hate him, he is and always will be, one helluva football player.