Jeff McClane of the Philly Inquirer I believe was the first to report that the Eagles and QB Michael Vick agreed to terms on a new contract that should drastically reduce Vick’s salary and cap charges in 2013. The contract is technically a 3 year contract that will void to one season on March 15 of 2014 according to McClane.
The reason for such a structure is to likely protect the Eagles from acceleration of prorated money from his prior contract. A pure 1 year contract would see $2.8 million in old prorated money immediate hit the 2013 salary cap, which the Eagles would likely not want to have happen. It also keeps the avenue open to prorate slightly more of his 2013 salary if they so desire. Vick was already guaranteed $3 million in 2013 so giving him that money in the form of a signing bonus could be likely. Such a move would increase his dead money charge in 2014 to $4.8 million from its current status of $2.8 million so it would depend on the Eagles need for cap space in 2013 vs 2014.
Various Twitter reports have stated that Vick can earn “up to” $10 million this season. Whenever you hear that phrase it means the contract is heavily incentivized. Because Vick only played in 10 games last season and threw for 2,362 yards there are many types of “not likely to be earned” incentives that could go into a contract for Vick to avoid cap charges during the 2013 free agency period and not have to worry about them until adjustments are made after the season.
Depending on the structure of the deal and guarantees I would not think that anything means that he is locked in as starter in Philadelphia. This is simply a deal that gives him an opportunity to be starter in Philly. The Eagles, always proactive in their cap management, could always consider releasing Vick in the early stages of the season unless his deal contains high levels of no-offset guarantees, which I would think is unlikely.
As more information on the deal becomes available we will update Vick’s contract status and cap charges accordingly.