Why Vick Makes Sense In Philly

When the Philadelphia Eagles ended the speculation about QB Michael Vicks’ immediate future by signing him to a $10 million, one-year deal, it told you a couple of things about first year-coach Chip Kelly.

First, that skill set is the No. 1 priority for the former Oregon coach, and Michael Vick can still run and throw.

Second, Nick Foles is not being considered as a long-term answer at QB. Eagles fans, who were ready for sweeping changes, were vocal in their disappointment about keeping Vick. The investment is not major because the team is only on the hook for $3 million if they decide to part with Vick in the pre-season. But it makes a lot of sense for Kelly, who probably will look to the college ranks for his future QB. Expectations won’t be terribly high in the rugged NFC East, and Kelly can install his offense and use the first year to fine-tune it. And if fans have any real complaint, it’s that Vick was already paid $35 million for the last two seasons – this one will be a relative bargain.

* Other teams are making changes because of the salary cap. When the N.Y. Giants cut ties with leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw, starting linebacker Michael Boley and defensive tackle Chris Canty, they shed three big salaries.

And the Buffalo Bills bid aloha to its two leading tacklers in linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Smith. It makes back-loaded contracts seem quite silly because veterans are rarely seeing the last two or three years of their deals.

Agents don’t object, because they get to announce huge contracts for their clients, even though a deal that’s called $75 million over six years might well turn out to be $20 million over three. Non-guaranteed contracts are the rule in the NFL, and the business model works beautifully for the league.

Compare that to the NBA or Major League Baseball, where contracts are fully guaranteed, where you see the kind of lunacy in which the talent-starved Seattle Mariners are on the brink of giving pitching ace Felix Hernandez $175 million over seven years. Not only is there no guarantee that Hernandez will be both healthy and productive for the duration of the deal, but also, is that going to make management more likely to pay for a proper surrounding cast?

The future looks bleak for Mariners fans.

* In local baseball news, former Rainbows Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia both have been invited to the St. Louis Cardinals major league camp for spring training. Might be next year or sooner when one or both is up with the big club during the regular season.

* This week’s UH bracket buster game with Northern Arizona has been changed to 5 p.m. – and not because of television. ESPN controls the event and booked the Lumberjacks out of HNL on a 9:40 p.m. flight. So UH will, in essence, have to pay for ESPN’s mistake, but nobody is willing to tug on Superman’s cape. Everyone in college sports tiptoes around ESPN in fear that they will get fewer broadcasts and less coverage.

It’s good to be king.