Michael Vick turned in the greatest game of his career last night and it could not have come at a better time.On the road, on the Monday Night Football stage, against the famous quarterback he was charged with replacing, who had also just been given a monstrous $70-million contract, Vick was spectacular.
He became the first NFL QB ever to throw for 300 yards, rush for 50, and score four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game. It’s even placed him among the favourites to win the NFL MVP.
Granted, it was against the shaky Redskins defence, but with this one signature game, Vick re-established himself as top-tier NFL quarterback … and a bankable superstar who can win back fans, even after spending two years in jail for animal cruelty.
Now it’s time for Vick to cash in.
Free Agency: Vick’s contract runs out this year and he could go back on the open market. However, even before Monday night, the Eagles had stated their intention to keep him “next year and beyond.” Plus, Vick has not forgotten that Philadelphia took a chance on him when few other teams would. Look for the Eagles to sign Vick and reward him handsomely.
But for how much? Well, if the Eagles put the “franchise” tag on Vick that would give them exclusive negotiation rights but, by rule, they would have to offer him at least, “a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position.” For a quarterback last year, that number was $16,405,000. After the 2011 CBA is signed (if it’s signed), it could be as much as $20 million.
That’s the low end. Considering the deal the older McNabb just got — and that both sides like each other and want to remain together — it’s more likely that the Eagles would negotiate a multi-year deal, with a big upfront signing bonus, that would guarantee Vick close to $50 million.
Vick will make $5 million in 2010.
Sponsors: Since returning to the league last year, Vick has been wearing Nike shoes … for no endorsement fee. Fresh out of jail, his old sponsor was happy to give him free shoes, but wasn’t about to sign a new endorsement deal with such a unpopular figure.
Now, if they don’t snatch him up, another sports company will almost certainly move into make Vick an offer. Look for a bidding war between Nike and Under Armour, which would love to land another top superstar for their growing stable.
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