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Andy Reid suggests that Vick contract will be tied to CBA

Andy Reid

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addresses the media during a news conference at the team’s NFL football training facility in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

AP

The Eagles have not yet discussed a long-term deal with quarterback Mike Vick. Based on new comments from coach Andy Reid, it could be that the team will use the unsettled labor situation as a basis for taking it slowly.

There’ll be a time and a place it needs to be addressed,” Reid said Wednesday, per Jordan Raanan of 97.5 The Fanatic. “We’ll address it.”

But when?

“This is a crazy deal with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and so on,” Reid said. “We really haven’t done anything with anybody there. It’s just a different year here.”

Reid claims that the delay will have nothing to do with Vick. “It’s not because of Michael’s situation, his past or anything else,” Reid said. “He’s making pretty good money this year. . . . It’s about the way the league is going right now. So it’s hard to make those type of plans for the future.”

For starters, we can’t accept at face value anything Reid or any other head coach says. (We could provide a list of examples, but we prefer to finish this article before dinnertime.)

As to Vick, the reality is that his status vis-a-vis (I feel fancy when I use that term) the league and the federal government necessarily influences the process. Under the current labor deal, the Eagles would not be able to recover a dime if Vick were to celebrate his signing bonus by doing something that gets him thrown out of the league and/or tossed back in jail. Under the new labor deal, the Eagles may have some more protections, especially in light of rhetoric from the league regarding, for example, the ability to Giants receiver Plaxico Burress to retain all bonus money despite being imprisoned.

Also, the possibility of a suspension and/or incarceration affects Vick’s market value. Whether Vick likes it or not, it does. Saying “trust me, I’ve changed” doesn’t change that. And so if a deal is going to be done now, the Eagles will want the deal to reflect that reality.

So why won’t Reid say that? Because he doesn’t want to piss Vick off any more than Vick already will be pissed off by the news that he won’t receive an immediate financial reward for his performance in 2010.

It’s a delicate situation, and it will become even more delicate after the Eagles apply the franchise tag to Vick.