Last year around this time I wrote a post (I’m actually just one week short of it being the exact same date) breaking down each team’s quarterback situation. You can check that out here. This post is going to be similar except it will be to specifically address whether or not each team has a need for Michael Vick and if they do, how much of a need it is. Some teams may need him simply because they need a quarterback, while others might be looking to use him in the Wildcat formation. Just today on ESPN.com’s NFL rumors section they said that the Redskins may be interested in Vick. I’d be interested as to what our commenter, Michael, who is a Redskins fan, thinks about this.
Let me start by addressing the talk surrounding the St. Louis Rams and their interest in Michael Vick, because Bryan is a Rams fan so they get to jump up on the priority list a little. I interviewed a source close to the situation in St. Louis and they said that the Rams organization wouldn’t be interested in acquiring Vick because they don’t want to risk taking that PR hit. Now let me clarify what I just said. By “someone close to the situation” I mean Bryan; he is close in physical proximity, just not close in the way people usually mean when they say that. And by “interviewed” I mean Bryan voiced his opinion to me. And all that mumbo jumbo about PR hits and everything simply means that Bryan said he doesn’t want Vick to be on the Rams. So in other words, all of that has zero credibility, I just didn’t know how to begin the body of this post so I decided that a joke is always a good place to start.
With that out of the way, let’s just jump into it. I’m going to break it down division by division, team by team and let you know why each team may or may not be interested in Vick. I have read tons and tons of articles (try to figure that one out; tons is a measurement of weight and I’m reading online, so none of the articles actually weigh anything…) on this whole situation trying to figure out where he might go. I even read articles that reference rankings of the top 10 dog-friendly cities in the country. After I break down each team, I will put links at the bottom to all of the different pieces I have read so that if anybody is interested enough to read more on the situation they won’t have to go digging.
Now I realize that there are a lot of rumors out there about a lot of different teams adopting the Wildcat Offense for part of their system. In which case ANY team could be interested in Vick, so I’m going to set that aside unless it’s a team that has already used the formation (cough cough Dolphins) or one where it seems a little more like solid fact that they will be incorporating it into their offense. I’m also not going to look at him as a player of any other position than quarterback. I realize there is talk that he could play a different position, but again, in that case ANY team could be interested. So I’m going to rate on a scale from 1 to 5 how likely they are to take Vick. 1 being no chance. 5 being they should/will at least kick the tires and consider it.
Cowboys – Set with Tony Romo. Austin, Texas where a lot of Cowboy fans live ranked #2 on the list of the most dog friendly cities in the U.S. and Dallas itself was listed as an honorable mention. 1
Giants – Set with Eli Manning and New York also ranked 9th on the list of top 10 dog friendly cities in the country. 1
Eagles – Set with Donovan McNabb but can he stay healthy? Last year was the first year since 2003 that McNabb played all 16 games of a season. Can he do it again? If they want to get a decent back up in case McNabb does go down again then the Eagles might be interested. 3
Redskins – Jason Campbell looked good last year, but he’s still developing. The Redskins have shown interest in picking up another quarterback. The showed interest in trading for Jay Cutler and also wanted to trade up for Mark Sanchez. DC/Northern Virginia did rank 4th in the country for dog friendly cities. Vick will without a doubt get a look from them. 5
Cardinals – It’s rumored that someone asked if Arizona would be interested in Vick and the Cardinals General Manager, Rod Graves said “We can put that to rest right now.” 1
49ers – There are a lot of rumors out there that San Francisco is a likely destination for Vick. Mike Singletary has proven that he’s not afraid to sign players with questionable history. The Niners also don’t have a clear cut starting quarterback and no team officials have publicly ruled it out yet. BUT San Francisco was recently ranked the #1 dog-friendly city in America. If this is true then do the Niners have to worry about upsetting fans by signing Vick? It’s an interesting question. I still think it’s a likely spot for him to end up. 5
Seahawks – They seem set with Matt Hasselbeck, and though Jim Mora did coach Vick in Atlanta this doesn’t seem to be where Vick will be playing. 2
Rams – Seem content with Marc Bulger for now but can the o-line keep him healthy? And everyone seems to think the Rams will land Sam Bradford in the 2010 draft. On the other hand John Clayton listed St. Louis as the most likely place for Vick to end up. It’s tough to say right now, but I think they’ll consider it for the right price. 4
Bears – They just traded for Jay Cutler and everyone in the Chicago area seems to be ecstatic about their new quarterback, so I doubt they bring in Vick unless it’s as a back up. Chicago also pulled in a #7 ranking for dog friendly cities. 2
Lions – They just used their first overall draft pick on Matt Stafford. I don’t think it would be a good idea to already make him start to question himself by bringing in another quarterback. I’m sure he’ll have enough doubts about where he is when the season starts. Ann Arbor, Michigan rounded out the dog friendly cities list at #10 and there are a lot of Lions fans there. 2
Packers – Aaron Rodgers stepped in and played well last year. They have solid back ups. I don’t see any reason for Vick to be in Green Bay. 1
Vikings – Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, John David Booty, Gus Frerotte and Sean Glennon. That’s five quarterbacks on the Minnesota roster. None of those names jump out and say “Franchise Quarterback” to me. Jackson hasn’t exactly established himself as a starter quality player, and I wouldn’t say any of the rest are the answer either. They have enough OK quarterbacks so I don’t see the Vikings taking Vick unless they’re sure he’s still in good enough shape to step in and be the front runner right now. He’d also be able to help develop Jackson, who is a similar player. If he’s the Michael Vick we all remember then the Vikings are a great fit. 4
Falcons – Matt Ryan was an absolute stud his rookie year. The Falcons do still technically have the rights to Vick though. But this is highly unlikely, they’ll let him go. They’ve successfully moved on. Unless they’re considering the Wildcat then I just don’t see it happening. 2
Panthers – Set with Jake Delhomme but can he stay healthy? He seems to have recovered well from his 2007 injury and McCown is a decent enough backup. While the prospect of Vick being in a backfield with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart is mind boggling, I just don’t see this one happening. Charleston, South Carolina is also listed at #6 on the dog-friend cities list. 2
Saints – Set with Drew Brees, and have a solid backup with Mark Brunell as well as Joey Harrington. Brees has been great in his three years with New Orleans, and there’s no reason to believe that will change. 1
Buccaneers – I don’t understand why people aren’t talking about this option more. Oh yeah, it’s because they think Josh Freeman might actually be good. He won’t be but with that aside, the Bucs have been picking up quarterbacks left and right. They drafted Freeman, they also have Byron Leftwich, Brian Griese, Luke McCown, and Josh Johnson. They’re going to be terrible this year anyway, why not take a gamble on Vick? It would give Freeman time to sit and learn and Vick could help him with that. 5
Bills – Look, I know they have Trent Edwards but this could be a great fit for Vick. They just signed Terrell Owens so they’re obviously willing to take in players that have question marks in the character issues department. This could cause opposing defenses fits. If Vick even looked like he was about to run with it and got a DB or two to bite on it, he could pull up short of the line of scrimmage and fling one to T.O. If the DBs don’t bite and Vick can make a player or two miss then he could run for a huge gain. If nothing else it would help sell tickets. The Bills should at least see if he’s still got it. If they do and he does then I hope they sign him. One more problem for the cheatriots this year. 5
Dolphins – I don’t think there is a chance Vick goes to Miami. A lot of people are talking about Miami because they ran the Wildcat offense so well last year, but consider two things: 1. they ran the Wildcat offense well last year, so why would they need to bring in Vick to run it when they can already run it well without him? and 2. despite this the Phins just drafted Pat White in the second round to run the Wildcat offense. Don’t let anyone fool you, a lot of people (including ESPN) seem to think that White was drafted as a wide receiver. Are you crazy? If he was drafted as a wide receiver, then why did the Dolphins go on to take two other wide receivers in the draft? They have plenty of wide receivers, they only have two other quarterbacks on the roster. Two! And I’m talking, active roster, practice squad, and any other section of the roster you want to look in. Chad Pennington and Chad Henne. That’s it. Pat White was drafted by the Dolphins as a quarterback. Period. And finally for those who still think Vick might end up in Miami, there are reports that have said four different individuals in the Dolphins front office and management have been asked if the Dolphins were interested in Vick and all four of them have said no. 1
patriots – Cheaters… anyway, I wouldn’t have thought the pats would see any need for Vick but there have been some rumors circulating that they might want him. Instead of me trying to address all of it, I’m just going to link you to a video from the Boston Globe. To watch it click here. I still don’t see it happening, but I guess I can’t rule it out. 3
Jets – The Jets just traded up to take Mark Sanchez and then practically threw a party because of it; I don’t see them taking Vick. They also have Erik Ainge who is clearly awesome. Oh and Kellen Clemens. In other words if Sanchez doesn’t work out or doesn’t seem quite ready, the Jets don’t have a whole lot of options. They’ve shown interest in Plaxico Burress so they’re willing to make a questionable move if they think it will pay off. Though as I mentioned with the Giants, New York is ninth on the dog-friendly city list. I wouldn’t say it’s likely but I’m not ruling it out. 3
Broncos – Okay, a show of hands for who think Kyle Orton or Chris Simms is the answer at quarterback for the Broncos… (pauses and looks around)… Yeah, me neither. Oh sorry, did I leave out Tom Brandstater? Okay a show of hands for Mr. Brandstater… okay, how about a show of hands for how many people have heard of Tom Brandstater… Good, good, I’m glad a few of you watched Day 2 of the draft all the way through. In short the Broncos need a quarterback. I’ve seen lists where they’re in the top 2 for the likelihood of where Vick will land, they seem to be a consensus top 5. Denver would be a great fit for Vick, though somebody should warn him my sister lives there and that if he moves there she might hunt him down and kill him, and for a poetic twist she’d probably kill him in the same fashion that he killed all those dogs. That is all for another time however. This is simply to tell you that Denver is probably destination for Vick. 5
Chiefs – Matt Cassel is going to be a bust. Then everyone is going to realize that it’s the system (cheating) in New England that makes their quarterbacks good, not because of their skill level. By then however it will be too late and Vick will probably already be signed with another team. Either way I don’t see this being a place Vick ends up, unless of course they want to keep him close to the prison he’s been in. 2
Raiders – I have no idea. Don’t ask me because I have absolutely no idea. This is mainly because Al Davis is a crazy, crazy, CRAZY old man. However if we put all that aside and I look at what I would do if I were running the Raiders organization, I’d probably ask if we could go back and do the 2009 draft over again. When they told me that’s not an option, I’d probably consider signing Michael Vick. The Raiders are a franchise who have historically signed players who aren’t exactly PR boosters. The Raiders also need help at quarterback, I can’t name single one on their roster other than JaMarcus Russell and he hasn’t exactly exploded onto the scene. Again Al Davis is insane, so he might not even know who Michael Vick is but at the same time it just might mean he’s even more likely to sign him. But they definitely SHOULD take a look at signing him. 5
Chargers – As long as they stop beating the Colts in the playoffs I really don’t care. At all. That’s not what you’re reading this for? Okay, find I’ll tell you what I think. The Bolts are fine with Philip Rivers. I don’t really see them making a move for Vick but they could. If they want to do some Wildcat stuff (I don’t know why they wouldn’t just use Ladanian Tomlinson) then they might show some interest. I haven’t heard or read anything about if the Chargers might be interested or not. Mike Sando says we can rule it out, but he was joking. 3
Ravens – Joe Flacco was awesome last year as a rookie and I haven’t heard anyone talking about Baltimore as a possible place for Vick to go so unless they want someone to run the Wildcat, but keep in mind they already have Troy Smith, then I just don’t see it happening. 2
Bengals – This is another team I haven’t heard anything about. They should be set with Carson Palmer though. But who knows, maybe Chad Johnson Ochocinco will want him on the team. Maybe they think Vick will help counter the Steelers pass rush. Then Bengals always gamble on players who have seen jail time so I’m not ruling it out. 2
Browns – Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn is enough of a quarterback controversy. Brady Quinn should have the starting job, but if the Browns aren’t sold on him either then Vick is an option, but I just don’t see it happening really. 3
Steelers – Set with Ben Roethlisberger and I don’t see why they would gamble on Vick. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. They just won the Super Bowl they don’t need to roll those dice. 1
Texans – Set with Matt Schaub, who played well last year despite missing five games. His backup is Dan Orlovsky who is okay for a backup but if they decide Vick could bring a new dimension to their offense then they might take the risk. Also, there was a comment on the top 10 dog friendly cities that said if they were to rank the 10 LEAST dog friendly cities that Houston would be the top one. That doesn’t really matter, but who knows, maybe that means the Texans don’t have to worry as much about the PR hit. 3
Colts – Peyton Manning.
Jaguars – Their starter is David Garrard, who had a great season in 2007 but had a pretty big drop off in 2008. If the Jags want to compete in a division where they’re quickly turning into the worst team then they need a spark. The Jags are being talked about as one of the most likely teams for Vick to go to and I see no reason to argue that and with Cleo Lemon as their backup they could use some depth at the position. Last I heard the Jags were also struggling to sell tickets and to keep their fanbase interested. Vick should help in that department as well. 5
Titans – Kerry Collins played well enough last year but by no means was he great and he’s 36 years old. If the Titans are still hoping that Vince Young can take the reins at some point then picking up Michael Vick in the meantime would be a great idea. Vick would be able to help Young develop into the dual threat quarterback that he is capable of becoming and the coaches would be able to run the same offense for both of them. Alge Crumpler is also on record saying that he hopes Vick gets back into the league. So the Titans know that they at least have one teammate who would be behind them if they signed Vick. 4
So my top 10 most likely teams to end up with Michael Vick, in no particular order, are the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings.
As promised here is a list of links that you can check out to read more about Vick and where other people think he might end up.
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