Mike Garafolo, USA TODAY Sports
All Michael Vick's new contract with the Philadelphia Eagles means is that he'll remain on the roster this spring.
As for whether he'll eventually be traded, remain with the team come opening day or if he's a starter or a backup to Nick Foles, that's all yet to be determined.
"There's an open competition. Michael knows that, Nick knows that," new head coach Chip Kelly said at a press conference Monday afternoon. "Nick knew every step of the way what we were doing. I specifically wanted to make sure Nick was included in the plans. I think both of them have outstanding qualities in terms of being quarterbacks in this league. Both of them have started in this league.
"I also know in this league you'd better have two (quarterbacks). So I'm excited about the two of them. They're both going to compete, and who the starting quarterback is to start the season off is going to be won on the practice field."
Monday morning, Vick agreed to a new three-year contract that's really a one-year deal worth up to $10 million - the key words being "up to." It's unclear at this point what the minimum amount of Vick's deal can be.
There's likely little guaranteed money in there, considering Vick isn't assured a job. And don't even try to figure out which quarterback Kelly is favoring right now by looking at the depth chart for upcoming practices this spring.
"We'll go alphabetical," Kelly quipped. "First name, last name, we'll flip a coin."
Vick will apparently take those odds.
"I am grateful and proud to be a Philadelphia Eagle. My heart is in Philly and this community is important to me," he said in a statement. "I look forward to playing for Coach Kelly, (Owner) Jeffrey Lurie and the entire Eagles organization, the city of Philadelphia and the fans. I am training hard this offseason and will be ready for Coach Kelly's team vision and leadership. Our goal is to win."
Kelly continues to say there are multiple ways to get that done on offense.
Vick has been a scrambler for most of his career. Foles has the makeup of a pocket passer. Though offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said the read option will be part of the team's package this season, Kelly continues to say there wouldn't be a drastic difference in the offense whether it's Vick or Foles under center.
"I don't think it's two different systems," said Kelly, who ran an up-tempo scheme with a lot of option looks at the University of Oregon. "People try to look at what we've done in the past and where I've been and kind of paint it with one brush because everybody wants to have a sound byte and say, 'Your offense is this.' I don't think what we do offensively can be just said in one or two words, that we're either 'this' or we're 'this.' We're an equal-opportunity scoring operation."
During his introductory press conference last month, Kelly gushed about Foles' toughness. Monday, he spoke highly of a skill set that "excites me" regarding the second-year player. Vick's abilities include mobility, which would seem to make him more adept at running the things Kelly has employed in the past.
But Vick needs to take better care of the football after turning it over 15 times in 10 games last season before a concussion knocked him out of action and Foles took hold of the starting job. Kelly believes a new system, a new coaching staff and a new contract could help turn Vick's career around at 32 - an age, Kelly noted, that makes Vick younger than the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo and only six months older than the New York Giants' Eli Manning.
"We're not ruling out anything right now," Kelly said when asked if Vick or Foles could be dealt before opening day. "Our job and we know from day one is to put the best team on the field when we open up the season on Sept. 13 or whatever day we open the season on.
"I don't rule anything out, I don't rule anything in. But I know moving forward, we as an organization had to make a decision on what to do with Michael and I want Michael to be a part of this team."
Vick, who was set to earn $15.5 million in 2013 before Monday's announcement.
After two seasons out of the NFL while serving a federal sentence for dogfighting, Vick joined the Eagles in 2009 and became their starter when Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion on opening day in 2010. After leading Philadelphia to the NFC East crown, Vick was franchised following the season but eventually signed a six-year, $100 million contract with $40 million guaranteed. He received a 10-year, $130 million pact from the Atlanta Falcons in 2005, two years before his legal troubles surfaced.
Vick's struggles with turnovers and accuracy have been problematic since that sterling 2010 campaign. He passed for 2,362 yards, 12 TDs and 10 INTs in 10 starts last season but only rushed for 332 yards and lost five fumbles.