Nothing is imminent, and discussions still have a long way to go before the two sides are even close to agreement, but The Sports Xchange has learned through multiple league sources that officials from the Philadelphia Eagles and the Michael Vick camp have agreed to pursue a long-term contract for the eight-year veteran quarterback.
Vick was designated an "exclusive" franchise player in February, and signed a one-year tender in March that guarantees him at least $16 million for 2011. Vick was one of only two "exclusive" free agents in the NFL this spring — Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning was the other — meaning he could not negotiate with other clubs.
The willingness of both the Eagles and Vick to attempt to work out a long-term arrangement is not all that surprising. Eagles president Joe Banner acknowledged months ago that the team is "interested" in a long-term contract. Vick recently said he is amenable to a multiple-year deal.
That the Eagles would consider such a potentially lucrative contract, though, for a guy who only two years ago was out of the league entirely is validation of their faith in Vick, not only as a player but also as a person. It is not yet known when substantive negotiations will begin.
Vick, 31, missed the entire 2007 and 2008 seasons after he pleaded guilty to dog-fighting charges. He signed a two-year contract with Philadelphia after his release in 2009. After spending the ’09 season as a backup to Donovan McNabb, he won the No. 1 job when Kevin Kolb was injured in the 2010 season opener.
The top overall selection in the 2001 draft, by Atlanta, Vick started 12 games for the Eagles last season. The former Virginia Tech star completed 233 of 372 passes, for 3,018 yards, with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
The completions, yards, and touchdown passes were all career highs.
Vick also established new career bests in completion percentage (62.6) and passer efficiency rating (100.2). The latter number was fourth-best in the league.