A few hours before kickoff on Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter cited an NFL source as saying that the Eagles would cut Mike Vick if Philadelphia didn’t go deep into the playoffs this season.
Anyone who pays attention to Eagles football knows that this was something that was already understood.
Since it was signed, we have known that Vick’s $100 million contract tied the team to the quarterback for at least two years. This is year 2. In the third year, Vick is due $16 million. If he remains on the Eagles roster three days after the Super Bowl, he will be owed a guaranteed $3 million. If the Birds release him, however, then Philadelphia will have no further obligation to the quarterback and take no hit on their salary cap.
What will determine if Vick gets to stay on the roster? Whether the team gets deep into the playoffs.
The Sunday morning, pre-game timing of the report seemed premature. But after seeing the Eagles unravel against the Lions, it suddenly took on a more ominous tone.
Let’s be clear: it’s still early in the season. The Birds still have ten games left to play. No one is giving up on the season or on this team (well, I’m not, anyway). However, the coming week needs to involve some soul searching on the part of the Eagles. We know they have the talent. We know that they can correct the errors they’re making that largely result from a lack of discipline.
But they’re not doing it. Six weeks in, you expect teams to find their rhythms and begin to reveal what they are truly made of. What we saw in Week 6 from the Birds looked uncomfortably like the start of 2011 and a team that had regressed. Heading into the 4th-quarter with a lead and not being able to hang on to win the game. Sound familiar?
There is a lot of blame to go around but when you see the same issues popping up each and every game, the fingers have to point at Andy Reid and the coaching staff, who are on the hot seat to improve upon last season’s 8-8 record. Perhaps the heat hasn’t been turned up high enough.
After defying the odds for three games, reality has set in and the Eagles are no longer winning games with the turnovers, fumbles, and all-around sloppy play. The winnable games are not being won and the errors that are can be addressed are still occurring.
Tight end Brent Celek said it well following Sunday’s loss: “Yeah, it’s very fixable, but you can only say that so many times.”
The Philadelphia Eagles must find a solution to play a more consistent, fundamentally sound game before time runs out for the team to turn around their season. If they can’t, expect an ugly gutting of the current Eagles roster and staff come the end of the season.