Eagles retain Vick, at least for now Paying him a $1.5 million roster bonus means the quarterback is still with the team. He could be traded.

Posted: March 08, 2010

If the Eagles plan on retaining all three of their quarterbacks for next season, they took the first step yesterday by picking up Michael Vick's $1.5 million roster bonus.

The Eagles had until tomorrow to decide if they wanted to exercise the option or release the 29-year-old quarterback. According to team sources, they informed Vick's agent, Joel Segal, of their plans yesterday.

Messages left with Segal seeking comment were not returned.

It was widely expected that the Eagles would shell out the bonus even if they did not plan on keeping Vick for the 2010 season. If they hope to trade the quarterback, they needed to pay $1.5 million now (of his $5.25 million total salary) to retain him for a future deal.

There have been reports that they are seeking no less than a second-round draft pick in exchange for Vick, who was a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons. His lackluster play last season - after an almost three-year hiatus because of a federal dogfighting conviction - might knock down that asking price.

In a Friday interview with WPEN-FM (97.5), Andy Reid said there was a "pretty good chance" that all three of his quarterbacks - Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Vick - would return next season. The Eagles' coach also reiterated that McNabb was his starting quarterback.

"I haven't changed my opinion, and I don't think they have, either," Reid said, referring to team president Joe Banner and general manager Howie Roseman, regarding the perception that he differs with both on whether to trade McNabb. "They've agreed, and mentioned some of the same kinds of things I've said - that Donovan's our quarterback."

The Eagles have been the subject of various rumors regarding their surplus of starting-caliber quarterbacks. They have not entertained offers, according to a league source, although Roseman said recently that teams continued to call.

Vick seems to be the most expendable, considering the amount of money he will earn next season, his desire to be a starter, and last season's failed experiment.

The Eagles were heavily criticized when they signed Vick in August, just months after he was released from federal prison after serving 18 months for dogfighting. He was brought in to be used in the Eagles' spread option sets, but he was unproductive for most of the season, completing just 6 of 13 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Vick was a dutiful teammate for most of the season, but he has been outspoken in this off-season about his role in Philadelphia and his desire to be a starter. Last week, an Atlanta radio station asked him which NFL teams he'd like to play for. Vick mentioned the Panthers because "it's close to home. I like the uniforms. You get to play against Atlanta twice a year."

Carolina released longtime quarterback Jake Delhomme on Friday, but the Panthers have said that backup Matt Moore will be the replacement. St. Louis and Buffalo have been mentioned as possible landing spots for Vick. The Rams, though, signed former Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley to a two-year contract Friday.

Extra points. Free-agent cornerback Marlin Jackson will visit with the Eagles sometime after he spends tomorrow in Baltimore with the Ravens, according to league sources. Jackson had his last two seasons with Indianapolis cut short after he suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees. . . . The Eagles are among several teams who are interested in New Orleans running back Mike Bell, a restricted free agent, according to scout.com's Adam Caplan. Bell is slated to visit with the Seattle Seahawks first. . . . Eagles defensive end Jason Babin, an unrestricted free agent, will visit with the Tennessee Titans, according to various reports. The Eagles are shopping for a defensive end. They made an offer to top free agent Julius Peppers, who eventually signed with Chicago, and they were reportedly pursuing Aaron Kampman. The team denied that it made an overture to the former Packer, who signed with Jacksonville yesterday.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com.

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