The Peyton Manning derby is in the books, but while the biggest signing in free-agent history is still fresh on the mind, juicy details about Andy Reid's interest in the four-time MVP raise questions about another superstar quarterback: Michael Vick.
Reid's denied the entire thing, calling Vick "our guy." According to the sources, talks never amounted to much for one major reason: Eli Manning, Peyton's younger brother and the not-so-awkward-anymore leader of the Giants.
Peyton wasn't about to join forces with New York's despised rival, potentially blocking his brother from further Super Bowl glory, but this isn't so much about Peyton -- it's about Reid. And Vick. And what this means going forward.
Vick has a history of being a sensitive creature. Touchy at times. Matt Moore finding out the Dolphins were in the Manning chase -- completely different. Moore fundamentally has no say in a matter like that. Alex Smith simmering? More understandable, considering he led the 49ers to the NFC title game, but still, it's Peyton Manning. All bets are off.
Vick has been paid and positioned as the unquestioned starter in Philly. One Jim Harbaugh-Smith heart-to-heart was enough to calm the waters in San Francisco, but the idea of Reid and Vick sharing their inner feelings and fears looms as a tougher sell.
After Vick's remarkable 2010 campaign resulted in that mega-contract, he fell to earth in 2011, and the Eagles along with him. Vick threw more interceptions (14) than in any of his previous eight seasons. His 18 touchdowns were the third best of his career, but no doubt Reid looks at Manning -- who's never thrown less than 26 in a season -- as an upgrade.
This likely won't be the last report we receive of an established team considering Manning. When a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback hits the open market, pretty much everyone outside of the Patriots, Giants, Packers and Saints have to look at their roster and agree: A healthy Peyton is a no-brainer.
If I'm Andy Reid, I'm on the phone with Teleflora dialing up a big, fat gift basket of Vick's favorite earthly goodies. Maybe a beer or two later on to talk this thing through -- and swiftly move on. The Eagles have bigger issues in the NFC East than a quarterback who never planned to play there in the first place.