Vick heads to Jets after 5-year run in Philly

Posted: March 24, 2014

JEFFREY LURIE, you might recall, agonized over whether he wanted to bring Michael Vick to the Eagles back in 2009. Vick had to travel to Lurie's Main Line home to convince the team chairman that he was truly sorry for the dogfighting scandal that sent Vick to prison, that he would be the right sort of person going forward, on and off the field.

Lurie was much less circumspect last night, after Vick's Eagles tenure officially ended, when the free-agent quarterback signed with the New York Jets.

Lurie issued a statement in which he wished Vick and his family the best and said: "I really enjoyed getting to know him over the last 5 years. He always represented our team with a tremendous amount of class. Michael was a great teammate, a great leader, and we're thankful for everything he provided to our organization and our community."

Vick gave the Eagles a memorable comeback season in 2010, when he unseated Kevin Kolb as Donovan McNabb's successor and made the Pro Bowl while leading an aging team to the playoffs. The next 2 years, the Eagles and Vick struggled with injuries and underachieved, and it became apparent that the man whose 34th birthday arrives this June couldn't take the hits he shrugged off as a younger QB. Last season, Vick injuries opened the door for Nick Foles, who established himself as the starter going forward.

In New York, Vick will battle 2013 rookie Geno Smith for the starting job, in an offense designed by former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. The Jets released Mark Sanchez when Vick signed his 1-year, $5 million deal. The Jets might have been Vick's only shot at regaining a starting role, as other possibilities narrowed through the first week-and-a-half of free agency.

Vick's exploits on the field for the Eagles might not prove as lasting a legacy as the hope he brought to inner-city Philadelphians during numerous appearances at schools and rec centers, some mandated by the terms of his probation, others done on his own. In the 300-plus-word farewell he issued last night, emailed to the Daily News and other outlets, Vick alluded to that bond. "I would like to thank the Eagles and the entire city of Philadelphia. I was honored to be your quarterback, and took the privilege to heart every day," Vick wrote.

DeSean update

As a report surfaced in Charlotte that the Eagles have talked to the Carolina Panthers about a trade for wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the Birds' efforts to deal their leading receiver seemed to intensify. A resolution during next week's NFL meetings seems quite possible.

A source close to Jackson last night confirmed a report on Phillymag.com, which said Jackson now believes his departure is inevitable. The Eagles still decline comment.


On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: ph.ly/Eagletarian

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