After Chip Kelly elected to bring Michael Vick back for a fifth season with the Philadelphia Eagles, naming Vick the starting quarterback seemed to be merely a formality. However, Chip Kelly has honored his word that he would hold a true competition for the starting gig, and now many beat writers consider Nick Foles – not Vick – the favorite to win the job.
CSN Philly’s Geoff Mosher is the latest journalist to predict that Foles will indeed overtake Vick and that Chip Kelly will name him the starter. Mosher correctly points out that Kelly is not emphasizing mobility at the quarterback position as much as anticipated and that Vick’s age should be counted against him in the competition.
However, he goes on to state that Vick’s salary will hurt his chances of winning the job and that Kelly would name Foles the starter in the event of a tie between Vick and Foles. In fact, Vick’s salary will be a non-factor in the competition. Almost all of Vick’s 2013 salary is guaranteed, meaning that the Eagles would not be able to salvage the money he is due even if the team cuts him. If anything, the contract Vick signed with the Eagles a few months ago shows that the Eagles view him as a starter based on how much they were willing to pay him.
Even if Vick and Foles remain even through the end of the competition, Foles will not necessarily be named the starter. His youth would work to his advantage, but would not be the deciding factor. Locker room presence is a much more significant intangible factor that does not show up in practice. The Eagles players clearly support and respect Vick. Vick is viewed as the team’s leader and the rest of the team wants to go to battle with him, not Nick Foles.
Despite some shaky logic from Mosher, Foles is indeed becoming a larger and larger threat to Vick’s job. At this point, it is clear that Foles has a legitimate chance to become the starter and most reports peg Foles as the more impressive practice player. Expect the competition to drag on through training camp at the very least.