Does Michael Vick's Start This Sunday Matter?

Bernie Ollila@@bernieollilaContributor IIIDecember 27, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles drops back to pass during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 7, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Unfortunately for Michael Vick, his start this Sunday against the division-rival New York Giants does not matter in the grand scheme of his future, or that of the Philadelphia Eagles—unless he gets injured.

Vick likely will not be returning to the Philadelphia Eagles next season because of the amount of money he would be owed.

Next year, Vick will be a 33-year-old, injury-prone, turnover-prone quarterback whose performance has gotten dramatically worse since his triumphant return to the starting QB role in 2010. Though the Eagles' shortcomings have not been completely Vick’s fault, he nonetheless has been a part of two of the most disappointing seasons in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles in back-to-back years.

There is no disputing the fact that Michael Vick had unfairly shouldered a lot of the blame for the Eagles’ struggles early this year, but things did not get better for the Birds when Nick Foles stepped in to fill the starting spot when Vick was sidelined with a concussion.

In fact, the Eagles defense had blown several fourth-quarter leads that Vick had given them to that point. However, No. 7 was a turnover machine who squandered too many possessions because of bad decision-making and bad ball control.

Of course, it’s worth noting that Michael Vick had taken an unprecedented number of hits prior to suffering the concussion that ultimately cost him his starting job. QBs cannot be expected to be flawless when they are not getting enough protection from their offensive line. Regardless, Vick was the one who turned the ball over—no one else.

Given his age, his performance over the last two seasons and his team’s record during his time as a starter, Michael Vick’s start on Sunday cannot be seen as an audition, either.

Vick will not be able to gain any interest from potential offseason suitors. NFL coaches and general managers know exactly what he is because he’s been around for so long. Even if he threw for 300 yards and ran for 100 yards in a blowout, it wouldn’t matter.

Who knows if Michael Vick will land another starting job if he is released by the Eagles as expected?

This weekend’s game against the Giants will likely be the end of a dark chapter in the history of Philadelphia Eagles—one blemished by bad decision-making, injuries, mismanagement and disappointment.

Andy Reid and Michael Vick’s time together was likely a last chance for both of them to win a Super Bowl. What Andy Reid does just does not work, and what Michael Vick doesn’t do is too much for any team to overcome.

It’s sad, too. If anyone deserves to win, it’s a coach who has been trying for 14 years and a quarterback who has been able to overcome a tumultuous past and take advantage of a second opportunity.

But in the end, Sunday’s game will be nothing more than a chance for both Michael Vick and Andy Reid to go out with a spark instead of a fizzle.