This is the first in a series of posts breaking down the Eagles position by position in advance of the upcoming draft and (hopefully) free agency. Today we'll start with quarterback.
2010 Recap: Pretty much the story of the season. Michael Vick took over for injured anointed starter Kevin Kolb and never looked back. Vick threw for over 3000 yards, 22 passing touchdowns with only 7 interceptions in just 13 games (including the Wild Card game). Plus, he used his quick feet to gain another 676 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground.
Who's Leaving: Kolb is almost certainly gone this offseason. While he was inconsistent in 2010, Kolb still had a four-game stretch as a starter in which he threw over 1000 yards with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. There should be plenty of suitors for Kolb, perhaps enough demand to get a 1st round pick or more (although whether that's for 2011 or 2012 remains to be seen). That kind of value would greatly outweigh his potential contributions as a backup.
2011 Depth Chart: Vick is the starter. The question is about second-year quarterback Mike Kafka. Can he be the main back up without any NFL playing experience? Certainly it's possible. Everyone remembers A.J. Feeley's five-game win streak in 2002 when Donovan McNabb was injured. Feeley was also a sophomore mid-round pick. Kolb, with a higher profile, became McNabb's primary back up in his second year (although an older Feeley was still around in reserve).
Despite the Eagles working out a few quarterback prospects, such as TCU's Andy Dalton and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, I'd be surprised to see them add another young player at quarterback this year. Kafka and a rookie QB would be the least experienced pair of quarterback back ups the Eagles have ever had under Andy Reid.
Potential Additions: The team will likely look to find a veteran player to plug into that hole instead. Free agents Matt Hasselbeck, Tarvaris Jackson and Alex Smith all might be options if they can't find starting jobs.
Future Outlook:Vick's value, both on and off the field, is tremendous. As soon as possible the Eagles will give him a multi-year contract extension. However, Vick is turning 31 this June, so he probably only has three or, at most, four good years left. Within a year or two Reid's going to have to start thinking about drafting his successor.