Eagles Add QB to Stable, Falcons Still Hopeful About A Gonzalez ReturnBy Debbie B.
After signing Michael Vick to a one-year contract earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to expand their options and reunited coach Chip Kelly with one of his former quarterbacks, Baltimore Raven practice squad member Dennis Dixon.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez started the 2012 season by saying he was 95% sure he’d retire after the season. His team again came up short for a Super Bowl run so fans, coaches and teammates have been holding on to a 5% hope for a 2013 return. Now the Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has given Gonzalez a 50/50 chance to be with the team this season.
Ravens Dixon Joins Eagles, What About Foles?
On Thursday, the Eagles added Dixon with a two-year deal. From his college days, Kelly was his offensive coordinator at Oregon.
The news wasn’t too much of a surprise as rumors had been swirling for a few weeks of a possible reunion. Prior to the Super Bowl, Dixon thanked Kelly coach for helping him in his career. The question had been posed by the media whether he’d like to be reunited with his coach; he diplomatically answered that he was focused on the Super Bowl.
But now that Kelly has Dixon back, what is he getting years later? He hasn’t performed as a former Heisman contender in the NFL. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Dixon in the fifth round in 2008 and in his brief NFL games, he has 59.3 percent pass completion rate with 402 yards, one touchdown, two picks and a 71.4 quarterback rating.
Dixon will join Nick Foles and Vick in the Eagles’ quarterback stable. So who’s the third wheel?
It may be Foles.
The Kansas City Chief have expressed interest in trading for the player. This would set up a reunion between Foles and his former coach Andy Reid but the Eagles have said they have no plans for a trade unless they get a great offer.
Meanwhile, this sets up an interesting competition between the three. They all bring something unique to the table and Kelly is encouraging all three to step up.
Before signing Dixon, Kelly said via NFL.com, “There is an open competition. Michael knows that. Nick knows that. I wanted to make sure Nick was included in the plans, and I think both of them have outstanding qualities in terms of being quarterbacks in this league. Both of them have started in this league.”
I can’t help but think of the quarterback competitions last season with the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. One team ended up with a winner and the other one is still without a contender.
It will be an interesting rebuilding year for the Eagles and for the 2014 Super Bowl, they have 35 to 1 odds to win it.
GM Gives Gonzalez 50/50 Chance to Return
Earlier this week, Falcons coach Mike Smith expressed his repeated interest for a Gonzalez return but said he had not heard the player’s answer yet. He will go with a group to the Combine next week and yes, he’ll look at prospective tight ends.
Smith said there’s no need to get ancy but on Thursday, the team’s GM said his tight end isn’t likely close to making a decision yet.
He said via ProFootballTalk.com, “Tony has done so much for us on and off the field and I don’t believe, not stating that he would be lying to anyone, but I don’t believe the 95 percent. I want to believe it’s a lot closer to 50/50, to be honest with you, and we’ve had discussions. Obviously Mike Smith has had discussions with him. We’re all in a good place. Ultimately it’s up to Tony to decide if he wants to come back and potentially catch 100 balls again.”
For the Falcons, who were so close but yet far again, have 18 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl next year. Will this affect Gonzalez’s decision?