Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly announced on Tuesday that Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback when the Eagles offense takes the field for the first time against the Washington Redskins in their season opener on September 9. The quarterback situation has been taken care for at least this season. However, the Eagles have to look at their future plans at quarterback as well.
Vick is 33-years-old and signed a one-year deal during the offseason. He hasn't played a full season since 2006. In the 37 games since Vick was named the starter in 2010, he has missed 12 because of sustaining an injury. In addition to missing time because of injuries, Vick also turns the ball over a lot. Vick has also thrown 30 interceptions and fumbled the ball 13 times since 2010. That's 43 turnovers since he was named the Eagles' starting quarterback. Of those turnovers, 31 came in the past two seasons. With the injury- and turnover-prone Vick, it is likely that Nick Foles will see time as the starting quarterback this season.
Kelly has stated that Foles will be on the 53-man roster and that Foles isn't going anywhere. While the Eagles could field some good trade offers for Foles, it is a good decision to keep Foles because of Vick's injury and turnover history. Foles proved that he can run Kelly's offense in the preseason games against the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers. If Vick were to go down with an injury again, Kelly would know he has a good quarterback to fall back on. Foles is 24-years-old and has started six games, all of which came last season when Vick was injured. Another reason to keep Foles around is the fact that Vick is only on a one-year deal.
Vick could be the bridge to Foles taking over next season. If Vick gets hurt at all this year, the Eagles will likely decide against signing him to an extension. This is why it was smart for the Eagles to only bring him back for a one-year deal because no one knows how long Vick will go this season without an injury. If Vick were to get hurt and miss an extended period of time this season, the deal is very friendly to the Eagles as they can let Vick walk after the season and let Foles take over.
The Eagles also have their fourth-round 2013 draft pick, Matt Barkley. Had Barkley declared for the NFL draft after his junior season, he would have likely gone in the first round with the high possibility of going in the first 10 picks. Instead, Barkley stayed at USC for his senior season and ended up hurting his shoulder. Barkley was a surprise pick to many. In his two preseason games, Barkley has played well for a rookie, but he still hasn't practiced with the first-team offense. Behind Barkley, Chip Kelly has a quarterback who played for him at Oregon, Dennis Dixon, who knows how Kelly runs the offense. Dixon also hasn't had any reps with the first team.
Keeping Foles is the Eagles' best option for not only this season, but for beyond this season. Trading Foles would mean Barkley and Dixon are the next two options at the position. Since neither has made an impression big enough to warrant first-team reps, it would be unwise to trade Foles. Barkley, however, will most likely be the third quarterback on the 53-man roster once the season starts.
Foles' performance so far this preseason spoke for itself and he has proven he can lead the Eagles offense. It is now up to the Eagles' front office and Chip Kelly to decide if Foles is the future of this team. If Foles starts any game this season, it'll make that decision a little bit easier.
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