Throughout this whole ordeal concerning Michael Vick and his 30th birthday party bash, there has been one constant: conflicting details.
What we know for sure is after Vick left his birthday party at Guadalajara, a nightclub in Virginia Beach, Quanis Phillips, was shot outside of the party. That’s it. Other than that, there’s two different story lines you can believe: the one Vick tells us through his lawyer, which keeps him in the clear of legal trouble, or the one reportedly shown by Guadalajara’s security cameras, which place Vick in a precarious situation.
Phillips, a co-defendant of Vick’s in the federal dogfighting case that caused his fall from grace was reportedly in a confrontation with the Eagles quarterback. Vick has said through his lawyers that he left ten to twenty minutes before the shooting and that he is unsure of who shot Phillips.
This was readily accepted as the truth and reports came out that the police didn’t consider Vick a person of interest, especially after he voluntarily spoke with police about the details of that night. Sounds good, right?
It did, until it was reported that security cameras from the nightclub showed Vick leaving the club just three minutes before shots were fired in the direction that Vick’s vehicle drove. An unnamed witness from the party also claims that as Vick’s fiancee, Kijafa Frink, fed him a piece of his birthday cake Phillips was seen slapping her hand away.
The Virginia Beach police finally released a statement today, which said in part that although they have identified the shooter, there is not enough evidence to charge anyone in the case. The victim is not participating in the investigation thus far and therefore no charges will come at this point.
Vick’s parole officer has yet to come forward about whether Vick was in violation of his parole and the league still could discipline him as they see just.
The Associated Press reports that a source familiar with the Eagles told them that the organization is heavily considering cutting Vick. After this report surfaced, the Eagles released a statement saying they believe Vick has told them the truth and that they are standing by their player.
The facts of the shooting have clouded the part that should have Eagles fans worried. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter if Vick was involved in the shooting or not. Rather, if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes that Vick was knowingly in the presence of someone who has committed a felony, which he is not allowed to do under the stipulations of his reinstatement to the NFL, Vick could easily be suspended or worse, kicked out of the league once more.
Vick has lied before. When he sat down with Falcon’s owner Arthur Blank to address the dogfighting situation, Vick assured Blank there was nothing to worry about and that he was not connected to the case — which is pretty much exactly what he told the Eagles about this shooting.
At this point, it doesn’t matter what Goodell decides. If Vick put himself in a situation he is not allowed to be in by not leaving immediately once the party-crashing Phillips showed up and it’s clear he lied to the Eagles organization about the facts, he has to be cut so the Eagles don’t look like fools at the end of the day.
Although Vick will not be charged with any crimes at the present time he still faces the risk of being suspended by the league or the team for the clear bad-judgment involved in the whole ordeal.
All of this means one thing: the Eagles need another backup quarterback. And it really can’t be just another backup quarterback, since new starter Kevin Kolb is essentially unproven and could possibly tank at any point in the season. They need to pick up a guy who could confidently stand in and run an offense that has a lot of young potential. Mike Kafka, their fourth-round pick from Northwestern, isn’t the key. It’s not fair to throw a rookie into this situation and expect success.
Unfortunately for the organization and for us as fans, the free agent quarterbacks left are a bunch of washed-up vets, nobodies, and draft busts: Mark Brunell, Marc Bulger, Todd Collins, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, Patrick Ramsey, JaMarcus “Codeine” Russell, Brien St. Pierre, and Andrew Walter are all unsigned free agents listed on NFL.com. Only Brunell, Bulger and Culpepper are worth a workout and even then you couldn’t expect much from them. None of those quarterbacks have the ability to lead a team to a winning season anymore.
Simply put: if Vick is in trouble, the Eagles are in trouble. Sure, there’s plenty of well-wishers out there saying you may not even need a backup quarterback, but going into the season with a team that’s capable of winning without a true backup is season suicide. A concussion, broken bone or torn ligament is possible every single play in this league. Not having any insurance for Kolb this year will only secure one thing: an early pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
There’s a first time for everything. Let’s hope this is the first time Michael Vick is being honest.