Is Vick's Contract One of the Worst in the NFL?

Is Vick's Contract One of the Worst in the NFL?

ESPN's John Clayton ranked the 10 worst contracts in the NFL on Thursday, and Michael Vick's (supposed) six-year deal worth $100 million made the list. Actually, it was second.

Here's what Clayton had to say:

2. Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (six years, $100 million): The Eagles are coming off a bye week in which Andy Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, and he is evaluating every position. Vick is the quarterback for now, but after the so-called "Dream Team" didn't make the playoffs last season, the 3-3 start has everything under review. Reid could be in trouble if the Eagles don't make the playoffs, and that would affect Vick. He has $47.5 million coming to him in 2013-15, but the Eagles might try to get out of the deal if Reid is gone.

Clayton is certainly spot on in his assessment that everything is about to come under review, so at face value, Vick's enormous contract does look like a mistake. It's not really so simple as that though.

For one thing, the fact that we even still refer to this contract as six years, $100 million is ludicrous. As Clayton appears to be aware, the final year (2016) and change ($20 million) already voided. In fact, they voided when Vick played in 35% of the team's offensive snaps in 2011 -- the first year of the contract -- and would have voided had he done that it any season over the life of the contract.

Six years, $100 million was a farce. It's five years at $80.

Next, Clayton opined the Eagles might "try" to get out of the contract in the near future. As has been pointed out before, and increasingly more of late, the team can very easily get out from under Vick's contract as early as next season. Only $3 mil of next year's base salary is guaranteed, and according to EaglesCap.com, the total cap hit to cut Vick would be a little more than $7 mil. It gets even easier move on in years four and five.

$7 million is a tough pill to swallow, but not prohibitively so. It's an amount that will at least make the front office think twice about outright dumping Vick, which it's a little premature to assume the Eagles will take that route anyway.

Which brings us to the final aspect of Vick's deal: the cold, hard cash. Is he overpaid based on his performance this season and last? You can very easily make that case -- his average salary of $16 million per year is third behind only Drew Brees ($20) and Peyton Manning ($19.2).

Still, the reality is starting quarterbacks make a lot of money in the NFL, which Clayton notes himself when ripping Carson Palmer's deal. Kevin Kolb averages $10.5M, based on the assumption he would be a starter. Kansas City's Matt Cassel -- who just lost his job to Brady Quinn or would otherwise give Vick some competition for the coveted turnover record -- averages $10.5M from a long-term deal signed back in '09. The Jets recently extended Mark Sanchez at $11.6 per for who knows what reason, the Raiders handed Palmer $10.7 to come out of retirement. (Numbers courtesy of spotrac.)

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the Eagles made the right call when they gave Vick all that money. In fact, all four of those players happen to appear on Clayton's list. That said, seeing as the organization built so many outs into the contract, it's hard to understand where Clayton was coming from here. They're not locked down long-term, and they still have a quarterback who gives them a chance to win every week -- and I wouldn't necessarily say the same for those other guys. It seems with so many teams  stuck paying for nothing, it's safe to say Vick's placement was an exaggeration to say the least.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).