Nick Foles is off to an unbelievably quick start as the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback. After watching the Eagles in preseason play, it’s hard to believe the same Nick Foles that looked completely out of his depth when compared to Michael Vick has now staked a claim on Vick’s job.
Statistics don’t often tell the whole story, and Nick Foles’ case is no different. Still, the stats are impressive enough to warrant some consideration. Considering Foles is completing over 60% of his passes and has thrown 13 interceptions to no interceptions this season, it’s easy to see why Foles is now the favored quarterback in Philadelphia.
Although Foles is currently on top, he’ll have to stay there over the course of the rest of the season to truly force the Eagles’ into a decision. Because Michael Vick is in a contract year, the Eagles will have to make a long-term decision in the near future.
If Nick Foles can continue to impress in Chip Kelly’s offense, Michael Vick will be gone. That’s not in question. If Foles stumbles and Vick steps up, the Eagles’ job becomes much more complicated.
Michael Vick will have no problem in the free agent market. After making a base salary of just $3.5 million in 2013, Vick could be a killer stop-gap quarterback for a team in rebuild mode but not ready to commit to a high-risk quarterback out of the draft. For such a team, Vick could provide a handful of relatively stable years, giving the team time to bring in a young understudy.
The Eagles are already at that point, which could push them towards letting Michael Vick walk. Nick Foles is showing signs of transforming into a great franchise quarterback. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to keep Vick around.
If, however, the Eagles aren’t quite sure of their future with Foles as their top quarterback, bringing back Vick for a short-term contract wouldn’t be a terrible idea. That would cost the Eagles a pretty penny though. Vick can likely land a longer term deal on the open market, and staying for a short-time would cost the Eagles a premium.
Ultimately, it seems likely that Foles is the man moving forward. There’s too many non-football related obstacles in the way for the Eagles to keep Vick beyond the end of the season, especially since there’s a legitimate starting quarterback on the team.
Right now, Nick Foles appears to have a firm grasp of the Eagles’ offense, and early returns are extremely promising. Will he make it as an NFL starting quarterback over the long haul? That’s anyone’s guess, but right now, he’s in the process of pushing Michael Vick out of Philadelphia, and in doing so, he’s clearing the last obstacle keeping him from being an established starter at football’s top level.