BALTIMORE -- When it comes to the Eagles' quarterback situation, Michael Vick is as confused as anyone.
The Eagles officially picked up the $1.5 million roster bonus due to Vick today. He's not sure if that means he's back next season.
"I don't know what the situation may be," said Vick, who was in town to receive the Ed Block Courage Award. "As far as I know, I'm a Philadelphia Eagle and I will continue to carry out the role that I've been playing and hopefully we'll see what happens."
Vick, however, has openly expressed his desire to be a starter. With Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb ahead of him on the depth chart that would be unlikely if all three were to return next season. Of course, some believe that McNabb or Kolb could be dealt for the right offer.
"I think the entire organization knows that I want to be a starter," Vick said. "I've reiterated that to [offensive coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg] at the end of the season and coach [Andy] Reid. They know that. They know I'm a competitor. They know I want to play. They know I want to win. So I just have to do what I'm asked to do at the appropriate time, at the right time. That's what it is. I appreciate the opportunity and it makes me feel like they think the world of me."
Vick was asked if thought the Eagles picking up his bonus was just a maneuver to buy the team time as it shops for a trade.
"I don't know," Vick said. "I don't know what's going on. I don't know what's going to happen."
Vick's appearance at the Ed Block Courage Awards dinner drew some protest, as it did in December when it was announced his teammates had voted the award to him. There were approximately 75 protestors outside the Martin's West banquet hall.
Vick served 18 months in a federal prison for running a dogfighting operation.
Many of the protesters waved signs at the intersection. One of the signs read, "Don't Reward Abusers." One protestor was dressed as a dalmation. Some car drivers honked their horns in support. A man in a Ford Taurus yelled at the group, "Hey, leave Vick alone, you maggots."
Vick answered seven-minutes worth of question before the dinner.
"I think I do exemplify what this award stands for," Vick said. "I think everybody has a right to their own opinion. I feel like I've done everything that I said I would do coming out and moving forward and that's most important to me. My peers felt like I was doing the right thing. They felt like I displayed courage and sportsmanship and leadership."
Vick may have a new set of teammates next year, though. His name has been linked to several teams, most notably the Rams, Bills and Raiders.
Reid said that there was a "pretty good chance" that all three quarterbacks could return next season. While that could indeed happen -- especially if the Eagles don't receive offers they like -- it seems like a long shot. Vick is the most unlikely to return. He is due another $3.75 million in base salary and it would be hard for the Eagles to pay a third-string quarterback that much money.
Vick has said how hard it was not starting last season. He's done several radio interviews since the end of the season. Recently he appeared on an Atlanta radio station and was asked which NFL team he would most like to play for next season. He said the Carolina Panthers.
“Well, you know, it’s close to home," Vick said. "I like the uniforms. You get to play against Atlanta twice a year. Ain’t nothing better than playing against your former team, right? So, yeah, that would be a good look, it would be a good look.”
Vick hasn't been a starter since the 2006 season when he was with the Falcons. The following spring he was charged with running a dogfighting operation. He was suspended by the NFL and eventually convicted of those crimes. He served 18 months in a federal prison and was released last May. The Eagles signed him, to much condemnation, in August.
Vick was brought in to play in the team's spread option formations. But he was hardly used and when the team inserted Vick for McNabb the offense stalled. Vick's best moment came against his old team, the Falcons, when he ran and threw for touchdowns. He threw for a 76-yard touchdown in the Eagles' playoff game against the Cowboys, but he later fumbled a snap in the loss.
Former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, now with Denver, was also being honored with an Ed Block Award.