Michael Vick Signs with Philadelphia Eagles
Vick Signs 2-Year Deal With Eagles
Michael Vick has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, apparently to be their backup quarterback. This signing comes completely out of nowhere for most fantasy football fans, since the Eagles had never been mentioned as a possibility. According to Andy Reed, Michael Vick will come into a stable situation and he makes their team better.
Where Does Michael Vick Fit With the Eagles?
On a football note, you might Kevin Kolb got hurt in Eagles camp the other day, and he looked pretty lost in the one-half of a game he played when McNabb got benched last year. With A.J. Feeley as the only other quarterback on the roster, I’m guessing the Eagles got a little scare and decided Michael Vick makes a lot of sense – especially with a quarterback (Donovan McNabb) who has gone on I.R. 3 of the past 4 seasons.
I’m guessing that Michael Vick isn’t going to be a serious quarterback option until late in the NFL season in 2009, if that. Michael Vick won’t be eligible to play until Week 6 of the NFL season, and he won’t be able to practice with the Eagles in Weeks 1 through 5.
Michael Vick can start practicing with the Philadelphia Eagles immediately in their training camp, and he can play in their final two preseason games. But with training camp close to half over, it’s hard to imagine that Michael Vick will be able to master the Eagles’ fairly complicated West Coast Offense and get his timing down enough coming off two years of inactivity to be a viable quarterback candidate.
Maybe really late in the year, but I don’t know if Andy Reed would throw Michael Vick into a December playoff chase unless he’s really desperate.
Michael Vick and the West Coast Offense
That being said, Michael Vick did spend the last couple of years of his time with the Atlanta Falcons in a version of the West Coast Offense. That always seemed like a poor fit to me, and that seemed to show on the field. I’m assuming the Falcons thought Vick would play well in the West Coast, because he was mobile. But the West Coast Offense requires accuracy in the quarterback over a big arm, and Vick’s lack of consistent accuracy hurt his effectiveness playing the West Coast – despite Vick’s cannon arm.
Those years playing the West Coast in Atlanta should prepare Michael Vick for learning the Philadelphia Eagles playbook, so maybe the transition won’t be so rough. I’m guessing that Michael Vick will play a different role for the Eagles in 2009: a little running back, a little kick returner, a little wide receiver and maybe even a Wildcat quarterback.
Donovan McNabb even mentioned in his post-game press conference (for the Patriots preseason game last night) that he could see himself lining up as receiver on a play or two when Michael Vick comes in for the Wildcat Offense, so maybe McNabb already knows what the play is.
Fantasy Implications for Donovan McNabb
Which brings us to the real question: what are the fantasy implications for Donovan McNabb of Michael Vick signing with the Philadelphia Eagles?
I don’t think they are that great. I think there’s little chance that Donovan McNabb will be benched for Michael Vick at any point this season, despite the 2008 benching. You have to remember that McNabb responded to that benching with a stellar December and January, and the Eagles look settled that McNabb is their man for the duration.
In fact, there seems to be the understanding that Donovan McNabb is the quarterback and there’s every indication that McNabb was consulted and involved in the Michael Vick signing. McNabb spoke of the signing as a good thing, while Andy Reed specifically mentioned that McNabb and Vick are “very close”.
If anything, the Michael Vick signing simply gives Donovan McNabb another weapon in the arsenal, while it gives opposing defensive coordinators one extra factor to prepare for when facing McNabb and the Eagles this season. While they’re having to consider Michael Vick, opposing defenses aren’t preparing for Brian Westbrook, LeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. So any downside that comes from the small chance Donovan McNabb will lose his job to Michael Vick is more than offset by the greater potential the Eagles offense has to score this year, factoring Michael Vick into the equation.
Fantasy football owners concerned about losing a high round draft pick to a benching might drop McNabb a couple of spots in lieu of quarterbacks with similar upside but no famous QBs on their roster, but I personally wouldn’t dro McNabb down your list any.
Fantasy Implications for Michael Vick
As for drafting Michael Vick in fantasy football drafts, you have to take into account that Vick won’t be playing until at least Week 6 of the NFL Regular Season. Even then, you have a player coming off of 2 whole years of inactivity. Whether that’s a player to invest in, I’m not sure. I frankly wouldn’t spend more than a late, late round pick on Michael Vick – probably much later than he’ll go in fantasy drafts.
There will be some guy who didn’t do his research that will grab Michael Vick in the 12th round, simply because he’s the most familiar name still out there.
I’m guessing Michael Vick will have a couple of feel-good moments this year. Vick might even have 2-3 games where his fantasy numbers would help out a fantasy football team. Those weeks might come in your fantasy playoffs, since he won’t get into swing until the second half of the seaso (against tired defenses who have played more games).
But the fact you’re certainly going to have to sit on Vick for 6 weeks, and the fact that you’re likely to have benched Michael Vick by then unless he’s shown something by the latter stages of the season, and I don’t think Michael Vick is worth the roster spot.
Drafting Michael Vick in Fantasy Drafts
Draft Michael Vick only if you think he’s going to hit the ground running and be a consistent performer and a key cog in the Philadelphia Eagles Offense. Otherwise, you’re keeping a spot that could have gone to a young receiver who could breakout or a backup running back who might be starting due to injury by midseason.
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