NEW YORK - Michael Vick all but made it official yesterday. He wants to be a starting quarterback in 2014. That isn't happening with the Eagles. So Vick will hit the free-agent market in March.
This is not stunning news, but when the 2013 Birds broke camp for the last time a little more than 3 weeks ago following their first-round playoff loss to New Orleans, Vick was still keeping the door open a crack, even as teammates visited his locker stall for farewell hugs. It seemed possible that if nobody wanted to sign him as a starter, Vick might be amenable to backing up Nick Foles again, given their strong relationship.
Since then, though, the Eagles have been putting out signals about developing 2013 rookie Matt Barkley. It seems likely Barkley will move up from the fringe No. 3 job to become the principal backup. And Vick thinks there must be a team somewhere that will give him a chance to lead them.
As Vick made the rounds on radio row yesterday, making sure listeners in many markets knew his thinking, at one point he told ESPN radio, in response to a question about whether he would rather go to a possible Super Bowl team as a backup or start for a struggling team, "If it came down to that, I would have to lean in the direction of playing. That's just being candid and being honest. I want to play. I feel like I've still got a lot of football to give."
During a break between radio interviews, Vick told a pair of Philadelphia reporters he wants, "to be an asset to somebody's team . . . I want to see what's out there for me. I think it's only right. This is the first time, probably the only time I have to do it in my career. I just want to take advantage of it. I'm excited about it. It's new, and it's kind of refreshing."
He said he didn't know whether he would get an offer from the Eagles, but indicated he didn't think so. Vick said he is scheduled to meet with agent Joel Segal today.
"We'll see what happens," Vick said. But of course, teams interested can't really let that become public until Vick becomes a free agent.
Last week at Senior Bowl practice, an NFL coach sympathetic to Vick said he thought it was far from a sure thing Vick will get to start in the NFL again, as he approaches his 34th birthday in June. Injuries have limited him the past three seasons. In 2013, he had an opportunity to take the starting job back, after Foles, subbing for an injured Vick, played terribly in the first meeting with the Cowboys, but Vick promptly reinjured his hamstring and Foles caught fire down the stretch, making the Pro Bowl after throwing 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions, while leading the NFL with a 119.2 passer rating.
Foles, meanwhile, also was in New York (it was hard to walk a block without stumbling over an Eagle), and he sank a long three-pointer on the "Dan Patrick Show." Foles got some Division I basketball interest in high school in Austin, Texas.
On the "Mike & Mike" show, Foles emphasized his friendship with Vick. Having just returned from the Pro Bowl, he was asked about fame.
"I'm definitely getting more recognized," he said. "But I think that has to go with everybody comparing me to Napoleon Dynamite. That's where the popularity is coming from."
Foles said he has not met actor Jon Heder, who played the title character of that movie, but said, "I know with how everything works, that will come pretty soon."
Running back LeSean McCoy visited radio row long enough to opine that his former Pitt Panthers teammate, Darrelle Revis, is still a better cornerback than Seattle's Richard Sherman. McCoy told a Sirius XM radio interviewer that the competition is "not even close." Asked whether there was one player in the NFL he wouldn't want on his team, McCoy said, "Sherman."
Other radio-row visitors included Brandon Boykin and Connor Barwin. Barwin said he's taking Spanish at Temple's Center City campus, trying to earn his final few credits toward his history degree.