Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that the Eagles are “strongly considering” cutting quarterback Mike Vick. The Eagles responded by leaking to two of ESPN’s key information men a denial of the AP report, and then by issuing a holiday weekend statement addressing the situation.
Here’s the full text of it:
“Under normal circumstances, we would not issue a public statement
regarding a matter still under investigation. However, due to the
intense speculation that exists, we believe it is important to make a
statement this afternoon regarding Michael Vick.
“Following the incident that occurred in Virginia on the morning of
June 25, Michael and his representatives promptly contacted law
enforcement agencies, the Philadelphia Eagles and the National Football
League. The Eagles were provided with very detailed information during
that discussion as to what took place at the event. Those details have
not changed in any way over the course of the last week. Our
investigation to this point has confirmed and has been consistent with
the information that was originally communicated to us.
“Furthermore, any report or speculation that suggests the Eagles are
considering releasing Vick are not true. We will continue to gather
information and monitor the situation and we will not have any further
comment until that process is complete.”
More significant than the Eagles’ perfunctory statement that they’re not considering cutting Vick (though it’s possible that they’re not, there’s no way they would admit it if, as reported by the AP, they are) is the suggestion that the “very detailed information” they received the morning after the incident has “not changed” in any way.
This means one of two things: (1) that Vick told the Eagles from the outset that he left the club only two minutes before the shooting; or (2) that the Eagles are saying whatever they have to say in order to make Vick look like he has been honest and truthful throughout this process.
The strong comments from Vick’s lawyer, Lawrence Woodward, tend to undermine the first option, since his words reinforce the notion that Vick said he left the club long before the shooting. So logic leads us to conclude that the Eagles are trying to control the bleeding on this one by characterizing Vick in a positive light, possibly in the hopes of unloading him via a trade.
So where would he be traded? At this point it’s not clear. But two points come to mind.
First, the Bengals made Vick an offer last year, before he signed with the Eagles. Second, Eagles coach Andy Reid and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis have been spending plenty of time together on a USO tour to the Middle East.