Chip Kelly & the Eagles keep Michael Vick in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Quarterback Michael Vick, who was slated to earn $16 million next season, has agreed to a restructured deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vick, who was injured and inconsistent last season, eventually giving way to rookie Nick Foles, now has a three-year contract, and will compete with Foles over the next nine months to see who runs new coach Chip Kelly's offense this season.
Vick, who returned to start the season finale vs. the New York Giants in December because Foles was injured, finished the season with 2,362 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Eagles finished 4-12 and in last place in the NFC East.
Andy Reid was fired as coach the day after the season ended, and Kelly was hired last month. Vick, who will be 33 when next season begins, is still elusive when healthy, and seems equipped to run Kelly's aggressive, up-tempo offense that he is bringing to the Eagles from Oregon.
"He wanted to be here," Kelly said Monday in his first meeting with the media following his opening press conference on Jan. 17. "I had never met him before. The one thing that attracted me to him, is Michael is a competitor. Nick is, too. You want guys who want to compete."
Vick was signed by Philadelphia in 2009, and became the starter in 2010. He led the Eagles that season to an NFC East title, and a memorable 38-31 December win over the Giants in which he rallied the team from a 21-point deficit.
There are questions, of course, about his durability and his age, as he now seems far removed from that resurgent 2010 season. He finished that year with 3,018 yards passing, 676 yards rushing and 30 total touchdowns.
"He's younger than (Dallas quarterback) Tony Romo, and he's right about the same age as (Giants quarterback) Eli Manning," Kelly said. "The only reason I say that is because I told Michael that this morning, and he didn't know."
Vick only played in 10 games last season, and in the finale vs. New York, he had a quarterback rating of just 68.4 en route to a 42-7 loss.
"I looked at the films, and studied the tape. When you look at Michael, it's his toughness. That cannot be overrated at all," Kelly said. "We looked at his skillset. He still has that skillset. He can still throw the football.
"He's got an unbelievable release, and it's our job as coaches to make sure he can get the ball out quickly."
All told, Vick has started 35 games for Philadelphia over the last three seasons. Foles has started six. The Eagles scored just 280 points last season as they endured an eight- and a three-game losing streak. Only Arizona (250) scored fewer in the NFC.
When asked which quarterback would work with the first-team offense in training camp, Kelly smiled and quickly showed he's going to be able to handle the Philadelphia media just fine.
"We'll go alphabetical," he said with a grin. "First name? Last name? We'll flip a coin."