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Michael Vick had options, but none better than the one provided by first-year Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly in his inventive offense.
"I feel like this is the perfect situation for me," Vick said after signing a restructured, one-year deal to quarterback the Eagles. "After talking with Chip and looking at the offense, I wanted to be here."
That, of course, is the simple way to look at this and Vick seemed to grasp that idea passionately.
"Exactly, this is about making it work," Vick said. "Whatever I had to do, I wanted to make this work."
Vick didn't have to agree to a one-year, $10 million deal that reduced his salary by $5.5 million. There were teams out there that wanted him, such as Buffalo, Arizona and Cleveland. He could have gone to one of those places and probably milked at least two years as a starter.
By returning to Philadelphia, there are no guarantees. Even the team website announced the news under the headline that Vick was coming back to "compete" for the starting job with second-year man Nick Foles.
But Vick clearly wants to be in a system that caters to his talents, regardless of security and politics.
A one-year gambit to see if Vick can return to his 2010 form is minimal risk for the Eagles, particularly when measured against the other options. Sure, Foles showed glimpses of talent last season, but that was peppered with plenty of failure. The Eagles could have gone with a veteran like Alex Smith, but that's no lock to be an upgrade or enough to build a team around.
Vick, 32, is still a singular talent who is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. Before the Eagles part company with him, they owe it to themselves to find out if Vick's regression last season was based on injury to him, injuries to those around him or some irreversible deterioration.
"Physically, I think I'm right there as good as the 23-year-old me I was way back when I got started," Vick said. "I've been training hard already with Tom Anderson and he's going to have me ready to play in this offense by next season."
Vick better be ready or he has only himself to blame for failure. Kelly's offense couldn't be much better with its combination of option plays for the quarterback and emphasis on speed in the all-around offense. He wasn't going to find a team with the combination of receivers (DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin), running back (LeSean McCoy) and tight end (Brent Celek) to create big plays. While the offensive line has to be rebuilt, it should be much healthier next season.
[Related: Offseason report on Bengals]
Beyond that, every other place Vick could have ended up would have had its share of problems. Cleveland has a better line, a good receiver and a good running back, but little else. Arizona is a train wreck on the line and doesn't have a great running back. Buffalo's skill players don't rank with Philadelphia.
Vick is already in about as good a situation as he could have hoped for. The only question now is whether he takes advantage of the chance.
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