Vick in Philly: Three InterpretationsS

Before he signed a contract, Michael Vick was just a fun little action figure for sports talkers to make pretend-play with in their living rooms.

OK, this end of the couch is the Raiders—ta da! Mike Vick on the Raiders: how about that?

OK, now—swoop!—he's on the TV stand, and the TV stand is the Vikings, and that Tonka truck we just knocked off the TV stand is Tarvaris Jackson. Poor Tarvaris!

This is why there's no point in pre-thinking about the NFL. Till yesterday, the argument about Vick came down to one of two propositions: he would sign with a team that knew what it was doing, or he would sign with a team that did not know what it was doing. If he was still valuable, the Patriots or Ravens would find something useful for him to do; if he was a scatter-armed has-been, the Raiders or Vikings would take him. The signing itself would settle most of the questions.

So, naturally, he goes and signs with the Eagles. Do the Eagles ever know what they're doing? This is not a rhetorical question. This is an actual ongoing mystery.

It is possible that the Eagles, having rallied to last year's NFC championship game after humiliating Donovan McNabb with his mid-season, mid-game benching, have decided to ratchet up the cruelty of their psyops another notch—that McNabb, back-stabbed once already, will raise his game even further to avoid being back-stabbed again, this time with a prison-sharpened toothbrush. That would be dumb.

It is also possible that the Eagles, whose offense consists of having one brilliant five-foot-eight guy catch or carry the ball 60 times a game, are keeping Vick around to take over the catch-and-run duties when Brian Westbrook's limbs finally fall off from overuse. That would be sort of smart.

Or maybe Andy Reid will forget that he even has Vick on the roster, and then, in the third quarter of a game in Week 12, will absent-mindedly send him into the game to punt. That would be the Eagles.

PHOTO: VIa SI via Getty Images