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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NFL: Will there be any takers for Michael Vick?

AP Football Writer

NEW YORK — Just because Michael Vick is back on the NFL market doesn’t mean there actually is a market for the one-time star quarterback.

Already there are teams saying they're against signing the 29-year-old Vick, who missed the last two seasons and spent 18 months in federal prison on dogfighting charges. Both New York franchises, Oakland, Jacksonville, New Orleans and Atlanta, Vick’s former team, publicly have done so. Privately, many more have said “No way” to bringing in Vick.
“I think the commissioner made a good decision,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Monday. “It’s his responsibility and he knows a lot more about it than the rest of us do, so I think he made a good decision.
“In terms of whether we’re interested in (Vick), we’ve said in the past that we’re not, and I don’t foresee that changing. But hey, you never know.”
Is it possible all 32 teams will just say no? And could that be construed as blackballing Vick?
Proving any such collusion would be difficult considering the circumstances, and that each franchise must make this decision on its own. Whatever Jerry Jones decides for the Cowboys has little bearing on what Paul Allen opts to do for the Seahawks regarding Vick. There isn’t likely to be a collective approach among the owners.
And yes, all could decide the headaches sure to accompany signing Vick — complaints from sponsors, fans, protest groups and media — aren’t worth the bargain price for which they can get the former Pro Bowl player.
Certainly, rule out any teams having trouble selling tickets, because the negative publicity accompanying Vick would exacerbate the problem, particularly if Vick doesn’t have a huge immediate impact on the field. Or misbehaves.
That would eliminate the Jaguars, Bills, Chiefs, Rams and Lions, for starters.
Also drop the Steelers, Colts, Texans, Panthers, Patriots and Seahawks, whose teams have absolutely no need for a distraction.
You probably can cross out Arizona, Cincinnati — despite owner Mike Brown’s penchant for reclamation cases — San Diego, Dallas and Chicago. There’s little logic to any of them pursuing Vick.
Would Baltimore endanger Joe Flacco’s development by bringing in Vick, even though the Ravens can be offensively challenged at times? Does Philadelphia, with perhaps the strongest roster in the league, need the turmoil?
That leaves Miami, Tennessee, Cleveland, Denver, Oakland, Washington, Tampa Bay and San Francisco.
Certainly the Browns, Buccaneers and 49ers are unsettled at quarterback, and even a limited role for an athlete like Vick — if he is, indeed, the same athlete he was before he went to jail — could be a boost to their offenses. Still, Cleveland has enough problems with the Brady Quinn-Derek Anderson quarterback duel, and the Bucs just drafted Josh Freeman in the first round.
San Francisco might work for Vick. Then again, are there more protest movements in any other city than in the Bay Area? Adding Vick to that mix could be volatile.
The Dolphins have new ownership and have received rave reviews for bringing aboard Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony and Jimmy Buffett. Why negate those strides, even if Vick would be perfect for Miami’s Wildcat offense?
The Titans, who had the league’s best record last season, are gearing up for a title run. It's impossible to predict what Al Davis will do. He has the top overall pick of the 2008 draft, JaMarcus Russell, at quarterback, and the team pretty much has made him the centerpiece of its future. Vick, though, could provide a balance to the Raiders’ offense with his special skill set, and Oakland rooters are more apt to accept him into the Black Hole than most other fan bases.
Under new coach Josh McDaniels, the Broncos have had a mile-high revolving door. McDaniels has given the quarterbacking duties to Kyle Orton but, again, Vick could complement Orton’s talents with his diverse abilities. Plus, Broncos faithful are not quite enamored of all the changes in the past seven months.
Finally, there is Washington. Owner Daniel Snyder has no issues with ticket sales, and he’s always loved having stars on the Redskins. He also has been as much a maverick as any owner in the league — if not all sports.
Michael Vick in the nation’s capital? Not at all absurd.