The Philadelphia Eagles' upcoming quarterback controversy won't be restricted to Michael Vick and Nick Foles.
While they are the front-runners to be the starter this coming season, rookie Matt Barkley, who signed a four-year contract Thursday, also will be in the mix. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Could not be more excited to officially be a part of the Eagles franchise!" Barkley posted on his Twitter account.
Tackle Lane Johnson, the Eagles' first-round pick from Oklahoma, is their only unsigned draft pick.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he was very impressed with the way Barkley performed during the recent minicamp and organized team activities (OTAs).
"Matt's done a great job," Kelly said last week. "He's a real student of the game and does a great job of grasping the concepts and understanding what we're trying to do. And I think he's done a great job in his work ethic in terms of being here early, studying tape and doing those things.
"It's not that he's so much more gifted than anybody else. It's really how hard he works at the game. He's a lot of fun to be around and a lot of fun to coach."
Barkley is not a typical fourth-round draft pick. Had he declared for the draft a year ago, the former University of Southern California standout would have been a sure-fire first-round choice and the four-year contract he signed with the Eagles on Thursday would have been worth millions more.
A shoulder injury last season at USC was one of the reasons he dropped to the fourth round, but the Eagles believe he has the talent and the intangibles to succeed in the NFL.
The major question is how the 6-foot-2, 227-pounder can execute Kelly's offense. Like Foles, he is not especially mobile. Vick and Dennis Dixon have that mobility.
"I think Chip will adjust (the offense) to whoever's back there," Barkley said earlier this spring. "You need to have quick decision-making and you need to understand (which receivers will be open), and I think I've thrived in all of those areas over my career. It's not my decision (who gets the reps with the starters). That's up to the coaches. I'm just doing the best with the reps I get."
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