Who will take Michael Vick?

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

Michael Vick will be reinstated into the National Football League for the 2009 season after being in prison for running a dog-fighting ring in Virginia. The question remains: Which NFL city will Vick land in for this season

To put it simply, the Atlanta Falcons have moved on. So in a move to put the past, and the baggage of Michael Vick, behind them, the Falcons have put Michael Vick on the trading block. But as of Tuesday, they had yet to receive a nibble from another team.

With all the baggage that Vick brings to the table, there’s no doubt that signing him would be a risky move for any team. But for some teams, that might be a risk worth taking. Vick does bring a lot of good things to the table. He’s a tremendous athlete and he has the “wow” factor that owners drool over and fans live for. Who could forget all the times Vick made defensive players look silly with his lightning-quick speed and his nifty footwork?

Looking at those factors alone, it’s a no-brainer. Fans want to see him play, whether they’re for him or against him. More fans in the stands means more revenue for the teams, and with the economy the way it is today, teams are looking for anything that will bring the fans to the stadium. He’s a dynamic player that can help your team win games, and he will increase your team’s exposure. From this perspective, signing Vick is a no-brainer for any team with a quarterback issue.

Despite the tremendous upside to signing a player like Vick, you can’t ignore the obvious downsides. Vick brings a tattered and torn reputation to the table. Any owner that signs him is going to keep his fingers crossed that Vick doesn’t slip up once again. If Vick gets in trouble again, it won’t only hurt his own reputation, but he could potentially bring down his head coach and his general manager with him. If I put myself in the shoes of one of these head coaches out there, I’m definitely hesitant to sign this type of a player.

With all of the analysis, and all the upsides and downsides that there are to this issue, I would have to say that if I were the general manager or head coach of an NFL team, signing Michael Vick would be a risk that I would not be willing to take. While not signing him could potentially be throwing away a chance at a breakout year and/or a run to the playoffs, you’re risking the reputation and well-being of your team, not to mention your own reputation.

If you’re a team that is struggling with your quarterback situation, you’d be much better off drafting a young quarterback and letting him learn the offense for a season before you throw him to the wolves. The outcome may not be as good in the short run, but in the long run you’re getting a chance to mold and shape a guy into the player you want him to be, instead of taking a risk on a guy that’s been in jail and hasn’t played in the NFL for two years.