Premature to Discuss the End of Vick's Career

Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles Career End

Yesterday, Tommy Lawlor wrote that Michael Vick is the “short term guy” at quarterback. He wasn’t making an extensive argument on the subject and I don’t want to mischaracterize his actual point. But I think there’s an interesting question raised there: how long do we expect Michael Vick to be the Eagles quarterback?

Everyone expects that as soon as possible the team will offer Vick a new contract extension. I’m on record saying that they may already have the terms mostly settled. But how long will that contract be? Should the Eagles be looking for a new long term prospect already? Vick will turn 31 this month, after all.

To put it bluntly, I think it’s premature to suggest that Vick is anywhere particularly close to the end of his time in Philadelphia. Look at the career of his predecessor, Donovan McNabb. The Eagles signed McNabb to a contract that would pay him through age 34. They decided to trade him before that final season began, but I don’t think that was because the front office thought he was over-the-hill. Maybe on the downside of his career — but not washed up yet.

If we assume that the Eagles have the same timeline envisioned for Vick, he’s due for at least a three year extension through 2014. For starters, any player that you plan on counting on until 2014 is a long term guy. Short term is a year or two, at least in my book. Once you get to three or four football seasons out, that’s the equivalent of making predictions about 2050.

And yet I think the extension may be for even longer than three years. I actually expect something in the four to five year range. Tom Brady signed an extension for four years at age 33. The Redskins gave 34 year-old McNabb a deal for five years. That’s the going rate. Plus, who’s to say that Vick — with his extra mobility and two years of rest while in jail — isn’t cut out for playing until at least as long as those more stationary quarterbacks?

After Andy Reid surprised McNabb and the rest of the NFL by grabbing Kevin Kolb in 2007, fans are always going to expect that to happen again. But Vick isn’t a short term option. He should be in Philly a long time.

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