Is Eagles' Michael Vick Really Worth $100 Million?

By Shaun Church
August 31, 2011 9:24 am
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On the 29th day of August, 2011, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick became the only player in NFL history to tender two separate $100 million contracts during his playing career, signing a 6-year, $100 million deal that locks him up as the Eagles' signal caller through the 2016 season ... or so we were led to believe when the news first broke.

There is a clause in the contract that states the sixth year would be voided if Vick takes 35% of the snaps in any given year of the deal. That means it’s all but guaranteed the Eagles would be done with him after the 2015 season, saving them $20 million.

The deal also includes $35.5 million in guarantees, not the originally reported $40 million. And as pointed out by Jason Brewer of SB Nation Philly, should the Eagles opt out early, it could be only a 3-year, $48 million transaction.

The year-by-year breakdown of the contract looks like this*:
Year Potential Earnings
2011 $20 million
2012 $12.5 million
2013 $15.5 million
2014 $15.5 million
2015 $16.5 million

When he signed his 10-year, $130 million extension with Atlanta on Christmas Eve, 2004, the Falcons were 11-3, and Vick was performing as he usually had throughout his career: as a mediocre passer, and an exceptional runner. He finished the regular season as the 21st-ranked passer (78.1 QB rating), and 23rd in rushing with 902 yards and 3 TD. Everyone in Georgia loved him, and everyone else wished he played for their team.

Atlanta sat Vick in the final regular season game of that year, as they had locked up a bye in the first-round of the playoffs. They made it to the NFC Championship game, where ironically, they were beaten by Donovan McNabb’s Eagles.

In 2010, Vick had by far his best season of his career throwing the ball, even though he missed four games due to injury (we’ll come back to that), finishing 233 of 372 (62.6 %) for 3,018 yards, 21 TD, 6 INT, and a 100.2 QB rating. He gained another 676 yards on the ground on 100 carries (6.8 YPC) with 9 TD. He was then rewarded by the Eagles for his one-year performance by becoming one of the highest-paid players in the entire league.

This is a problem because Vick hasn’t shown he can stay healthy for a whole season. He’s played through injuries in the past, however at his age (31), you have to wonder about this 6-year deal. When his contract runs out in early 2017, he will be a 36-year old shadow of his former self.

Here is a list of injuries he has suffered over the length of his career**:
Injury Dates Injury
Oct 3 - Nov 5, 2010 Ribs
Dec 25, 2009 - Jan 8, 2010 Quadriceps
Oct 18, 2006 Right Shoulder
Dec 14, 2005 Ribs
Oct 5-12, 2005 Knee
Sept 21, 2005 Hamstring
Dec 22-29, 2004 Left Shoulder
Dec 10, 2003 Ankle
Sept 3 - Nov 26, 2003 Leg
Dec 18, 2002 Thumb
Oct 6-27, 2002 Shoulder/Thumb
Sept 26 - Oct 3, 2001 Back

To think that Vick will suddenly begin to avoid injury is a pipe dream. His style of play is just what you want from every player on your team, but it comes at a cost. Not counting the two seasons he spent in prison, he averages a little over 12 regular-season games played per year.

If he holds true to that average over the length of this contract, he will miss another 20-24 games. To me, that is not worth the hefty cost.

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*From philly.sbnation.com
**From si.com

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By Shaun Church
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Previous Comments (2)

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2 years ago
Good stuff on the list of injuries
2 years ago
Great insight on Vick - after three games he's suffered a concussion and a broken hand. Bet the Eagles fans are longing for Kolb again!

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