Scott Daniels

Eagles' Quarterback Competition Is A Smart Play

Created on Jun. 26, 2013 7:31 PM EST

For most NFL teams heading into the 2013 season, the starting quarterback situation is a non-issue. A select few teams, however, are still pondering over who should be the guy under center. Teams like Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland may have technically named a starter, but confidence in that starter is weak at best.

Another team lacking an official starting quarterback is the Philadelphia Eagles. As strange as that sounds, Chip Kelly has yet to formally name a starter in his debut campaign as a head coach in the NFL. His actions haven’t exactly started a controversy in Philly, but Michael Vick has already voiced his displeasure in not getting the starting nod.

His competition? Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and Matt Barkley. Not exactly the cream of the crop. So what’s preventing Kelly from anointing Vick, or anyone for that matter, as the starting quarterback? Unfortunately, the only person who can answer that question is Kelly himself, and he’s more transparent than a government spy. His offensive prowess is folk lore in the college ranks, but no one really has a clue what he’s going to run in the pros.

And while many will speculate about Kelly’s high-powered offense, it’s a great move on his part to at least maintain the perception that the quarterback position is up for grabs. After a predictable restructuring of his sizeable contract, Vick was inked for one year and the potential for approximately $10 million, which included a $3.5 million signing bonus. Conventional wisdom suggests he’s starting based on his contract alone when compared to his counterparts, but why crown him king after a dismal 2012 season?

Vick is a highly gifted athletic specimen with a few good years left (barring injury). Letting him compete for the job will be good for him. There is absolutely no shot Kelly goes with Foles, Dixon or Barkley to start the season because he’d be crucified in a losing campaign. Vick is his guy … at least, at first. He’ll be named before the preseason, but in the meantime, Kelly’s façade of open tryouts for the quarterback spot remains.

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