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Michael Vick: 'I'm not a backup ... I'm a full-fledged starter'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Michael Vick is as good as gone in Philadelphia. If the high-priced veteran, now officially benched for rookie Nick Foles, stayed another year with the Eagles, it would be a stunner.

But it's not just an Eagles thing; it's a Vick thing, too. Because it sure looks like any gig in Philly for Vick is going to be behind Foles, but the 32-year-old quarterback said he's not interested in a backup role.

"I'm not a backup. Just being honest, just being candid. I'm a full-fledged starter," Vick told Tim McManus of Birds 24/7. "That's what I've got in me, that's what I provide, that's what I offer. Whatever happens, wherever I end up, they're going to get 110 percent. You're going to get the same thing out of me that you got the last two, three years and that's 110 percent effort and a guy that's confident in his abilities to play and win.

"I want to start. Yeah, I'm a starter. I'll feel that way until I start to feel like I'm becoming a problem on the team."

Vick's contract presents a tricky situation for the Eagles. As McManus notes, $3 million of Vick's $15.5-million salary in 2013 is guaranteed if he's on the Eagles' roster on Feb. 6. That means they're more than likely going to cut him immediately following and/or before the Super Bowl (Feb. 3 in Indianapolis, on CBS).

If they want to recoup something for Vick, they could pay him the $3 million and try to move his current deal. That's a bit of financial Russian roulette though; whatever they'd net in return from Vick isn't going to be some sweetheart Kevin Kolb-ish deal with the cash that he's owed. Plus, if there aren't any takers, the Eagles put themselves in a precarious position with cash, with Foles (he's the starter) and with Vick, who believes he has "prime left."

"I just feel like I have made so many strides as far as learning the defensive part of the game and kind of piecing it together with the offense," he said. "I feel like over the last two years I've kind of gotten better in the protection game and learning defensive schemes."

"I've got prime left, man. I'm just getting started."

Vick made strides over the last two years, but he also still struggled in recognizing protections, adjusting at the line of scrimmage and limiting turnovers.

A lot of that had to do with Philadelphia's offensive line, which is why some teams (ahem, Arizona) should be concerned about investing in him going forward.

Given that Vick wants to be a starter and has no interest being a backup, that team shouldn't -- and likely won't be -- the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick will get his wish and we'll get to see whether the only player in NFL history to receive two different $100-million contracts can reinvent himself for a third time.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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