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Eagles, Vick agree to restructured deal
Michael Vick took a significant pay cut to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles and compete for a starting job.
The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback agreed Monday to a restructured three-year contract with the Eagles, just two seasons after signing a $100 million extension that included $35.5 million in guaranteed money. The new deal is essentially for one-year, however.
A source familiar with the contract said Vick could earn up to $10 million in 2013 if he meets all his performance incentives, and the team will void the remaining two years on March 15. That person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms haven't been released.
Vick was slated to earn about $16 million next season, including a $3 million roster bonus. He lost his starting job to rookie Nick Foles last season, but new coach Chip Kelly will give him a chance to win it back.
"I am grateful and proud to be a Philadelphia Eagle," Vick wrote on Twitter. "My heart is in Philly and this community is important to me."
Vick had a breakout year in 2010, leading the Eagles to the NFC East title, winning The Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award and starting in the Pro Bowl. But he's battled injuries and inconsistency the last two years.
"What I look at is skillset first and foremost," Kelly said. "What he can do, how he can throw the football, how he can beat people with his feet. There are a lot of different factors he has. And you have to look at the landscape for other quarterbacks. I guess the best way I can put this is I agree there is a change of scenery going on here. For Michael Vick, there is a change of scenery, but not a change of address."
Since the Eagles hired Kelly to replace Andy Reid, there's been plenty of speculation about which quarterback will run his aggressive, up-tempo offense. Though Kelly has been effusive in his praise for Foles, the slow-footed, pocket-passer isn't an ideal fit for a zone-read offense. Kelly, though, said he will cater his offense around his players' strengths. After all, he's known for being an offensive innovator who had tremendous success at Oregon.
"I don't think what we do offensively can be said in one or two words that we're either this or we're this," Kelly said. "We're an equal-opportunity scoring operation. Whether we run the ball over the goal line or throw the ball over the goal line really doesn't bother me, it's how do we move the football.
"There have been games we've had to throw it in our league 50 times and there are games we have to run it 50 times. You need to be built for the long haul. There is a skill set that Nick has that really excites me about him. I think we've got an older quarterback in Michael who is 32 now, and have a younger guy in Nick who is going into his second year, and I think it's the ideal situation for us moving forward this season."
Kelly didn't rule out a trade, however.
Giants, Thomas agree to new contract
The New York Giants signed defensive back Terrell Thomas on Monday.
Thomas, who has battled injuries throughout his career, has not played in a regular-season game since Jan. 2, 2011, the finale of the 2010 season. Thomas missed 2011 and 2012 after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
It is possible that Thomas, a cornerback, will switch to safety next season, a move that might be easier on his knees.
Thomas was a second-round draft choice by New York in 2008 out of Southern Cal, and started every game in 2009 and 2010. He led the Giants in tackles, interceptions and passes defensed each season.
Buffalo releases veterans Barnett, Wilson
The Buffalo Bills have begun reshaping their defense under new coach Doug Marrone by releasing two veterans: linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson.
General manager Buddy Nix said the cuts were made Monday with the intention of moving the team forward and freeing up spots to allow Buffalo's younger players to step into those roles.
Barnett is a 10-year NFL veteran, who never missed a start in his two seasons in Buffalo after signing with the team in free agency. Wilson was a respected leader and voted a five-time team captain during his eight seasons in Buffalo. He was also the team's NFL Players Association representative.
The shake-up takes place a little over a month since Marrone took over after Chan Gailey was fired following three losing seasons.
Smith: NFLPA still concerned about Chargers doctor
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith says the union is still concerned about San Diego Chargers team doctor David Chao even though he reportedly has been cleared by an independent panel.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Smith says neither the Chargers nor the NFL initiated an inquiry or provided oversight of Chao even though he has been found liable of malpractice.
At a pre-Super Bowl news conference, Smith called for Chao to be replaced as team doctor. The NFLPA filed a complaint.
Quoting a club source it did not identify, the U-T San Diego reported Sunday that three independent doctors "totally exonerated" Chao.
The NFL and the Chargers refused to confirm the report, citing confidentiality.
Chao hasn't returned calls and texts seeking comment.
Miami stadium deal might hinge on 2016 Super Bowl
Even if voters approve using tax money to help upgrade the Miami Dolphins' stadium, a deal might be contingent on the NFL awarding the 2016 Super Bowl to the city.
The Dolphins confirmed Monday they've reversed their position and agreed to a referendum. A no vote would scuttle the plan.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez says that should the measure pass, county commissioners still ought to have final approval - and insist on assurances from the NFL that the city will host the 50th Super Bowl in 2016.
The Dolphins hope the referendum can be held before May 22, when league owners are expected to choose the host for the milestone Super Bowl. Miami and San Francisco are the finalists.