Everyone agrees it was the smart play and allows another month for new coach Chip Kelly to figure out his battle plan for the quarterback position. When the NFL calendar actually flips on March 12 with the opening of the free-agent season, Vick could be jettisoned then, with the Eagles only liable for any portion of the $3 million that he doesn't make elsewhere.

Coaches and front-office personnel may come and go, but the Eagles still lead the league in reading contracts. They might not be able to beat you, but they can clause you to death.

There is an overwhelming number of reasons to believe that Vick will not be on the roster when the season opens in September. Some of those are the obvious: He gets hurt all the time, he gives away the football too often, and he has lost that spark in the open field that once made up for his deficiencies.

From an intangible standpoint, he doesn't represent the new beginning the Eagles are seeking, and he probably made no friends by calling his teammates a bunch of quitters at the end of last season. If anyone can recognize a dog when he sees one, it is Vick, but nevertheless.

Then there is the fact that, if he is around and unwilling to renegotiate, Vick will make $15.5 million, which is a lot for a guy whose luggage is well over the checked-bag limit. As stated before, the Eagles can flat-out read a contract.

Still, if it were all that certain, all that etched in stone, why bother to keep him on the roster even for a little while? There is the possibility he could be traded, but Vick's market value is next to nothing. There is the possibility he will eventually agree to a reworked contract if the Eagles keep him on the string. There is the possibility that it was merely a clever procedural move for a front office that is always enchanted by its own cleverness.