Philadelphia Eagles  

 

Eagles put all their chips on Vick with $100M contract

Michael Vick just agreed to the second $100 million contract of his football career. Talk about a comeback.

In less than a full season as a starter and just more than two years after being released from prison, Vick officially has struck it rich, not just in the bank account but in faith.

The Philadelphia Eagles have bet the future of their franchise on Vick with a six-year, $100 million contract, just as the Atlanta Falcons did when they signed him to a 10-year, $130 million deal in 2005.

As has been well documented, that infusion of cash was freely spent and used to help fund the illegal dogfighting ring that led Vick to jail -- and into bankruptcy. As has also been well documented, that downfall led Vick to lead a different life and, in all likelihood, this new fortune will be handled much differently.

He's now out of the red.

As for the Eagles, their move Monday will be as polarizing as Vick has been for most of his career. Did they pay him too much after only one season that he didn't even enter as the starter? Did they do what they had to do so they wouldn't lose Vick to free agency after the season?

The answer probably lies somewhere in between. Though Vick likely won't see the entirety of his contract, he'll be paid handsomely without having to prove he can sustain the success he had in 2010 (30 total touchdowns, six interceptions, 3,018 yards passing, 676 yards rushing). He's being paid in the ballpark of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Vick has never been that good.

Vick isn't being paid for what he hasn't done, though. He's being paid for what he can do. He's clearly the quarterback with whom Andy Reid believes he finally can win a Super Bowl. Vick also is a guy the rest of the players in the locker room will follow. He's the face of the franchise, too. People are rocking his jersey across the country just like they did when he played for Atlanta.

The Eagles have cast their lot with Vick. The comfort he's feeling financially soon will turn into pressure to win. That pressure has nothing to what Vick has been through in his young life, but it's pressure nonetheless. Philadelphia has stacked (and paid) its roster, and winning is the only option.

If the Eagles don't reach the Super Bowl, then they will have paid dearly -- and not in a good way.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89

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