Banner talks quarterbacks
The Philadelphia Daily News - Eagletarian
Banner talks quarterbacks
Daily News staff
Eagles president Joe Banner continued his interview with the team's Web site and addressed the question on everyone's mind -- the status of the team's quarterback situation, with all three players entering the final year of their contracts.
Coach Andy Reid has said Donovan McNabb will be back next season and McNabb has insisted that is what he wants. Kevin Kolb's camp has said he believes he is ready to be an NFL starter but trusts Reid and will be a "team player" whatever the situation. Michael Vick has made it clear that he wants to be a starter and McNabb has backed Vick, saying he is ready to start elsewhere. The Daily News has reported that Reid has assured Vick he will be traded before the draft. The Eagles have an option on Vick's contract, which has to be exercised in early March.
As for Banner, "It’s a priority to figure out exactly the best way to handle the situation. Andy’s comments have been clear about his evaluation and Andy is the final decision-maker here. As far as do we trade any of the quarterbacks, keep all three quarterbacks, what do we do with their contact status each going into last year of their deals, the uncertainty about the collective bargaining agreement going forward, those are also parts of the decision. There’s different levels of complexity about the decision. We’ll have to sit down and figure it out."
But the Eagles feel they are in an enviable position, especially as teams begin to call to check on the availability of the quarterbacks.
"I don’t think I have ever seen this situation," Banner said of having three such valuable quarterbacks. "It’s a great position to be in. It does present a very difficult decision or series of decisions to make. I don’t think there is a team in the league that wouldn’t like to have the problem of having too many good quarterbacks and what do we do with that.
Banner also talked about the differences expected in free agency with the high likelihood of an uncapped year in 2010.
"I think free agency is going to be very different than it’s been, with the best, youngest potential free agents not being free agents," he said. "It’s going to be a much quieter market, much fewer players available and the youngest, best players not available. It’s going to be finding people in spots that you have opportunities. Even the normal first week, when you have a lot of activity and a lot of big deals, I even think that will be much less active than usual."
In some Vick-related news, as he continues to do interviews in support of "The Michael Vick Project" on BET, Vick told Atlanta radio station The Zone that he was "somewhat lazy, and I settled for mediocrity" during his tenure with the Falcons, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That, he said, has changed. "I'm stronger, I feel fast and I'm back to my old-school workouts," he said. "I think you'll see a big difference this year. I want to play my best football up until the age of 34 and 35, and I'm going to put everything into it. Just imagine what I could have been doing if I really would have been applying myself. That's a regret I have."
He also called coming to the Eagles "probably the best thing that has ever happened to me in football."
“I didn’t even expect to go to Philadelphia. It was kind of a shock to me and my family. I just made the most of the situation ... I was able to learn so much, sit back and be observant and use it as if it was a redshirt year. That part of the segment, I wanted to show early because a lot of people really wanted to see how that happened and what took place.”
In a lengthy interview with Essence magazine, Vick was asked about the tough Philly fans and how he adjusted.
"Going to Philly was a good thing," he said. "I never knew if or when I would ever return to the NFL. I had an indefinite suspension. I was grateful to get the opportunity to return."
He also had some advice for Tiger Woods.
" I think that is such an unfortunate situation," he said. "I think a lot was probably blown out of proportion. But Tiger is smart, and he's a good man, I think people know that. He knows what he has to do. And he will move forward and do that. I see him working hard to devote himself toward saving his family. He has always had such a clean, good image and I am sure he is contrite and wants to make things right. I believe people will see that eventually."