Mike Vick breaks the plane (USAT Images)
First, the good: Michael Vick finished as the fourth highest-scoring fantasy quarterback in Week 1, delivering 257 combined yards (203 passing) and three touchdowns. Head coach Chip Kelly's system was an absolute blast. The Eagles ran 77 plays, scored 33 points and gained 443 total yards — and the numbers would have been much greater had the team not downshifted to protect-the-lead/run-clock mode in the second half.
Now, the less-than-good: Vick was sacked three times, he had a backward pass returned for a touchdown, and he missed a few open receivers (including a man in the end zone on the turnover). But quarterbacks don't routinely deliver perfect games, obviously. Even with a handful of misfires, Vick put up terrific numbers.
And now, the semi-scary: By the end of the game, Vick was moving like an old man. (A spry old man, sure. But still old.) After gaining 36 yards on a fourth-quarter run, Vick appeared to be dinged. He picked himself up slowly, limping and grimacing. Even now, at 33, Vick is still a guy who won't slide if the head-first plunge is available to him.
So here we are. It's the morning after for Vick owners. We're all feeling pretty good on Tuesday, because our quarterback just put up a huge fantasy total, and he didn't shatter into a zillion pieces. Kelly's offense is clearly going to translate well to the NFL — remember, as unique as the system may appear, the guiding principles aren't gimmicky. Philadelphia's key skill players are clearly in line for huge fantasy seasons, assuming good health.
But there's the issue: Can we reasonably assume that Vick will remain healthy (or healthy-ish) while playing a run-heavy scheme that fires off 75-85 plays per week?
Vick hasn't appeared in more than 13 games in any of his four seasons in Philly. He absorbs an unusual number of hits, and he's not exactly a Cam or Colin-sized QB. Vick is 6-foot-nothin' and 215 pounds — bigger than your average fantasy expert, sure, but not particularly large by NFL standards. Over the past three seasons, he's been concussed, he's dealt with broken ribs, and he's had hand, thumb and quad issues. The medical chart is messy.
Most of you know where I'm heading with this: Today, it's easy to make the sell-high argument with Vick. This is an extremely buzzy player tied to the league's buzziest offense, coming off a terrific performance in a national game. Everyone in your league wants to invest in Philly's offense (even the Giants fans, who may not admit it). Clearly Vick carries an elevated risk of injury, so cashing-out right now seems reasonable.
Then again, if Vick can simply give us 13-14 games this year, and if he's healthy in December, during the biggest fantasy weeks ... well, wow. His potential is just silly as a dual-threat quarterback in Kelly's offense.
Today, I really have no interest in telling you what to do with Vick. I currently own him in three leagues — one of which is highly incentivized — and I drafted him as a starter in two. I have not actually put him on the trade block anywhere. I'm somewhat conflicted. I understand the concept of selling a stock on the way up, before the potential crash, but I'm still susceptible to a fun story like the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles. And hell, if we never embrace any level of risk, we can't win anything.
So here's what I'd like to know:
1) Who's the best QB you'd trade away for Vick today, in a one-for-one deal?
2) If you've already dealt Vick, what was the haul?
3) If you have no intention of ever flipping him, then what's your Plan B if/when he breaks?
4) If you wanted no part of him during draft season, do you feel differently after Monday's explosion?
Let's make this a conversation, please — a Michael Vick workshop, if you will. It definitely isn't a lecture. I'm trying to work through the Vick dilemma, same as you.
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