Michael Vick Comeback: 5 Teams That Should Sign the Star Quarterback
Before Super Bowl 51 former NFL star quarterback Michael Vick made it known that . Now that might not be the case.
After watching the 39-year old Tom Brady win his fifth title against his former team, Vick admitted he felt “inspired” and . Vick still claimed he was officially retired from the league, but has yet to file his retirement papers with the NFL and remains “open” to the right situation if it presents itself:
Michael Vick: Tom Brady's Super Bowl comeback inspired me to rethink retirement.
— theScore (@theScore)
The question, of course, is why should we even care?
Vick sat out of football in 2016 because no team went after him and the last we saw of him, he was a shell of himself as a backup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before that, the aging Vick was a free agent miss with the New York Jets and flamed out after a strong return with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Can Michael Vick Still Play?
After not playing at all in 2016 and being mostly a backup for the three years prior, it’s fair to wonder if a now 36-year old Vick has anything left to give the game of football.
Yes he can still play, but can be operate an NFL offense at a high level or ever return to the glory he exhibited back in 2010? Probably not. Of course, we’ve seen resurrections happen. Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon and so many others overcame career obstacles to have massive seasons deep into their 30’s and we just got done watching a 39-year old Brady slice and dice the Falcons in the craziest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Speed, athleticism and mobility have never been an issue with Vick. He’s not nearly as explosive as he was in his prime, but he’s still probably one of the most athletic bodies you can drop under center. He can still evade a rush, run for a first down and keep plays alive.
The arm strength is still there, too. Vick has always had an effortless throwing motion and can zip the ball anywhere on the field with the flick of a wrist.
It’s the nuances of the game that have never been properly figured out by Vick, as his accuracy, precision, timing and decision-making have always left something to be desired. His pocket presence has deteriorated as the years have gone by, too, and in his final season with the Steelers he appeared timid and far too conservative.
Vick isn’t a conservative talent. He’s not a game-manager. He’s supposed to be an electrifying playmaker that keeps defenses on their toes when he rolls out and crushes their souls with bombs over their heads.
It’s possible Vick could work hard, get in the best shape of his life and get one more chance, but it obviously isn’t likely. That being said, everyone loves a great comeback story and at 36, Vick isn’t too far gone yet that we can safely say it’s impossible he can make one last run in the NFL.
The other question, of course, beyond him actually having the ability to play still, is which teams would actually consider giving him a shot?
Who Would Sign Michael Vick?
I’m not sure any team should sign Vick or will sign Vick, but his comments on the Vikings not bringing him in last year after Teddy Bridgewater went down tell us a competitive fire still burns. He at least desires another chance to prove he still has it. Teams don’t hate that, and there remains plenty of quarterback-needy teams in the league.
Because of that, there could be a few situations that could call for NFL teams to give Vick a hard look:
New York Jets
The options for Michael Vick are admittedly slim. New York is one of them just because they have no answer at quarterback right now, but considering they don’t want any part of Jay Cutler, odds are they probably won’t a second run at Vick (he played there in 2014).
That being said, where else do they go under center? Christian Hackenberg feels like a wasted pick, they’re not bringing back Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith and Bryce Petty isn’t the long-term answer.
New York will be looking to draft a signal caller in the 2017 NFL Draft, and then what? Roll Petty, Hackenberg or their new rookie franchise passer out there? Maybe, or they could give Vick a call and see if he’s up to the task of playing a stop-gap one last time.
This one might even be more silly, seeing as the Bills have a much more in control version of Vick on their roster right now. His name is Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has the Bills on the hook for a whopping $27.5 million (including a $15.5 million salary bonus due in March), though, and that could make him a trade chip or a cap casualty.
There is an argument against cutting Taylor, as he’s been more than fine as the team’s top passer over the last two years. He hasn’t been the solution exactly, but he also hasn’t necessarily been the problem, either. Still, Vick is basically an older and less accurate version of Taylor. They could just shift to him, save money by letting Taylor walk and then groom their successor behind Vick.
Buffalo probably isn’t going anywhere unless they go out and get Tony Romo, anyways, so why not save cash, get a decent stop-gap and call 2017 a lost season?
This one actually could make some sense. Vick isn’t above playing for the Browns at this point in his career and no organization has a more difficult time finding a competent passer than Cleveland. Head coach Hue Jackson was hoping to works wonders with Robert Griffin III, but that didn’t work out and he’s a very strong candidate to follow Josh McCown to the unemployment line.
If that happens, suddenly the Browns are back to square one, looking at Cody Kessler and whatever quarterback they take in the 2017 NFL Draft. That might sit perfectly fine with a franchise that just went 1-15 and knows they’re a few years from even dreaming of competing, but why not cut RG3 and kick the tires on a similar talent like Vick?
The worst case scenario lands the Browns in the exact same situation they’re currently in, and that’s probably where they’re headed again, no matter what. Rolling with Vick offers the slim chance of exceeding expectations, could be a fun PR ploy, helps you shed RG3’s salary and gives you a bridge option before going with a young quarterback. Truly, it might be a win-win proposition for the Browns.
The Chicago Bears are a team in a full-blown rebuilding mode, too, and they have some serious decisions ahead of them under center. The first of which is what to do with veteran passer Jay Cutler, who will cost them over $14 million if they don’t trade or release him before March.
That doesn’t sound like something the Bears want to deal with, and with Cutler likely out the door, they could suddenly be starting over from scratch with both Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley already hitting free agency, as well.
Just like that, the Bears don’t have a franchise passer of the future to groom and don’t even have a stable veteran to rely on. Vick could fix the latter problem – if only initially – while the Bears are sure to bring back one of Hoyer/Barkley and take their shot at adding their future signal caller in this year’s draft.
Chicago hasn’t been winning with Cutler, so the expectations with Vick are even lower. If he comes in and has an amazing year, then they’re surprisingly competitive and improve on the fly. If he is terrible, they endure another bad season while accruing elite draft picks to keep building for the future. On paper, it’s a win for all parties involved.
San Francisco 49ers
Another interesting spot – and probably Michael Vick’s last realistic option – is San Francisco. The Niners are in a very similar situation as the Bears, as both Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder are about to be free agents and reports suggest starter Colin Kaepernick will opt out of his deal.
Incoming rookie head coach Kyle Shanahan may not see bringing in a 36-year old Vick as the ideal move, but he’s short on options. As it stands, he may have literally zero quarterbacks on his roster when free agency opens for business and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to lure a more attractive veteran option like Kirk Cousins, Tony Romo or even Jay Cutler into town.
If things break the wrong way, Shanny will be left with a rookie quarterback, perhaps a weak street free agent and little else. That could cause the Niners to make a desperate play – one in which could potentially involve a big name like Vick.
Michael Vick Prediction
Ultimately, we don’t expect Vick back in the NFL. He already retired for two key reasons: he realized he probably can’t hack it anymore and nobody wanted him.
These bad quarterback situations all existed last year and there’s always been shaky situations like this in the past, yet Vick was never handed a starting gig before. Why would that change now at age 36?
It’s possible the fire still burns inside of Vick and that his athleticism could potentially make him a surprise addition somewhere, though. If that happens, the leading candidate figures to be the Browns, simply because Hue Jackson probably would think he could turn Vick’s lost career around and of all the realistic options, no one has less to lose than Cleveland.
Think Vick is done? Have the perfect team for him if he decides to continue his playing career? Tell us all about it in the comments below!