Vick wants to start, but open to Eagles return

Vick wants to start, but open to Eagles return

Eagle Eye: Home-field advantage

January 1, 2014, 7:00 am
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Michael Vick said he wants to start next season, but if nothing comes to it he wouldn't rule out returning to the Eagles as a backup. (USA Today Images)

At some point this month or maybe even early next month, the Eagles’ 2013 season will come to an end, and quite possibly so will Michael Vick’s five-year stay in Philadelphia.

Nick Foles has established himself as the Eagles’ starting quarterback.

And Vick, who is not under contract beyond this year, is determined to once again be a starting quarterback somewhere.

Will there be a team that’s willing to give a shot next summer to a quarterback who turns 34 in June and hasn’t gotten through a season without missing at least three games with an injury since 2006?

Vick says yes.

“I don’t worry about it,” Vick said. “My skill set is still there, my arm is still there, my legs are still there, I’m still a playmaker, that’s evident. I think at some point, I’ll be playing somewhere.”

Vick went 15-9 as a starter his first two years with the Eagles and 5-11 the last two years, including a 2-3 mark in five starts this year. He has 57 touchdown passes, 13 TD runs and 33 interceptions as an Eagle.

Since the start of 2009, Vick’s passer rating is 87.9, higher than Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.

He’s a four-time Pro Bowler and the NFL’s all-time rushing leader among quarterbacks.

And Vick sees no reason he can’t help a team needing a quarterback next year.

“I’m playing again next year, that’s the way I look at it,” Vick said. “I know at some point I’ll be back out there.”

What kind of team would want Vick as a starter? Maybe a team that drafts a quarterback of the future this spring but doesn’t want to play him right away, kind of like the Eagles in 1999 with Donovan McNabb and Doug Pederson (Vick’s former position coach).

Certainly Vick, even at 34, is more talented than a ton of starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Before he got hurt this year, he was playing well, with five touchdowns, three interceptions, 306 rushing yards, nearly nine yards per carry and an 86.4 passer rating.

Vick has now been with the Eagles only one year less than he was with the Falcons, the team that made him the first pick in the 2001 draft.

Could he possibly see a sixth?

Don’t rule it out. 

If Vick doesn’t get any nibbles as a starter, he’d certainly make a terrific No. 2 for the Eagles.

He has a great relationship with Foles, he knows the offense, the coaches like him, everybody in the locker room looks up to him and admires him for his selfless approach to losing his job (see story), and he can certainly win a game if Foles got hurt.

Vick smiled at the prospect of returning to the Eagles for a sixth season as Foles’ backup.

He made it clear that he wants to start next year and plans to start next year.

But …

“Yeah, if it doesn’t work out, if all else fails, absolutely,” he said. “You can never rule that out.

“It all depends what happens, where I’m at in my career. Never rule it out. But I’m not thinking of that right now. I’m not thinking about the future. I’m just thinking about doing whatever I can to help this team win a Super Bowl.”