Eagles owner Jeff Lurie held his annual state of the team address yesterday to discuss a number of topics related to the team. Most notably, that he expects Michael Vick to be an Eagle for a long time.
“Michael is healthy and in his prime," Lurie said "and I’m looking forward to having Michael for many, many years.”
Vick is currently playing on one year franchise tag and could become a free agent next season. If the trade of Kevin Kolb wasn’t indication enough that the Eagles saw Vick as their guy going forward, the vote of confidence from the owner surely is. There has already been reports that the team has had preliminary discussions with Vick over a long term deal, so don’t be surprised if there’s an announcement of a new deal sometime near the start of the new season.
Signing Vick to a new contract would actually lower hit cap hit for this year. Under the franchise tag, Vick counts over $16 million against the cap, a new deal would allow them spread the hit over more years and lower the cap number. Doing so could give them the room to give DeSean Jackson the new contract that the WR is currently holding out for. Lurie would not discuss DeSean’s contract directly, but sounded upbeat.
“Listen, we all really like DeSean. He’s a positive player, a good person, and we have nothing but high hopes going forward with DeSean. I’m not going to talk publicly about any of the dealings with him, but it’s all positive and we look forward to DeSean being here and working things out in a great way going forward.”
Lurie did admit in a follow up question that is the policy of the organization not to discuss a new deal with a player who is holding out. Jackson must report to camp by August 9th in order to accrue a year toward free agency, so he’s all but assured to be in camp by then.
As for other potentially disgruntled Eagles, Asante Samuel bristled at the idea that could be traded with the arrival of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. Lurie was asked whether he had reassured the pro bowl corner.
“Yeah, well at first I said to him until you start yapping at the offense, you’re not all the way back. Then you heard him the rest of the day there. What a great guy, terrific cornerback. I think in terms of playing with [CB] Nnamdi [Asomugha] and DRC and the rest, talk about being opportunistic, he’s finally going to have a situation where they’re going to have to throw the ball in his direction. This is sort of a unique situation for Asante that way. He’s a great guy to have. We’ll see how it goes as we go forward, but it’s great to have him back.”
It was an upbeat press conference from Lurie which certainly reflects all the good vibes floating around Lehigh these days. It’s in stark contrast to the past few years were Lurie’s yearly presser was much more contentious and he was being forced to answer questions about the shooting that happened at Michael Vick’s birthday party… No doubt he likes answering questions about all the talented free agents he signed a lot better.