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Give Vick a Chance, Just Not in Jacksonville

miller-article1NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated former star quarterback Michael Vick last Monday. Of course, there are conditions to Vick’s reinstatement.

Once a team signs Vick, which I believe will occur, he can participate in preseason practices and meetings. After serving 18 months in federal prison for his role in a dogfighting ring, the former Virginia Tech Hokie will be allowed to play in the last two preseason games.
However, when the NFL season begins, Vick can still continue to practice, but not play in games. Commissioner Goodell will reevaluate Vick for reinstatement by Week Six.

So, in essence, on top of his jail time and house arrest, Vick is suspended for six NFL regular-season games at the most.

Not surprisingly, Jacksonville has been mentioned at the top of the list of destinations for Vick.

ESPN analyst Herm Edwards has mentioned the First Coast as a potential home for Vick. In addition to Edwards, Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Perloff thinks Jacksonville might court Vick.

On Tuesday, Perloff, who is a regular on The Dan Patrick Show, listed the Jaguars first on his list of teams that “wouldn’t be surprising” to sign Vick. He wrote, “The Jags need some excitement and don’t have much to lose.”

I wholeheartedly agree that the Jaguars need excitement, but the team would place much on the line if Vick is signed.

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio doesn’t exactly have a lifelong contract. Also, I doubt the organization wants to risk the chance of another poor free agent signing.

If you somehow forgot last season, last year’s free agent busts Drayton Florence and Jerry Porter cost the Jaguars approximately $16.5 million in guaranteed money. The two are no longer with the Jags.

While those mistakes are in the past, they are not forgotten.

And, in my opinion, general manager Gene Smith is not willing to risk a potential collapse during his first year as GM.

Most importantly, Smith has focused on good character football players. Would-be locker room troubles are not on Smith’s radar.
Since Michael Vick has been out of the league for two full years, history would dictate that Vick will not be the player he once was.
While the 29-year-old has been in federal prison, he has been talked about as a potential running back or wide receiver. But, most likely, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback will fight for a backup quarterback position.

Hypothetically, if the Jaguars do sign Vick, he would vie for the backup role against recent free agent signee Todd Bouman.

Comparing Vick’s career statistics to career-backup Bouman’s stats is absolutely unfair to Bouman. In 13 seasons, Bouman has played in 42 regular-season games. In six seasons, Vick has started 67 games (played in a total of 74 games).

Vick’s career numbers say he would wrap up the position behind David Garrard on the depth chart. While he was in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, I bet Vick washed more pots and pans than he threw tight spirals. (During his time in Leavenworth, he did play prison football.)

Regardless of whether the NFL has made a fair and morally correct decision, I do not think Vick will sign with the Jaguars. While he could help the team, he is a too high-risk/high-reward type of player.

In my mind, with the Jaguars out of the Vick picture, I’ve come up with seven teams who I feel can become much better if he plays for them.

From my point of view, the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are all viable options.

The Bengals could sign Vick because the organization obviously isn’t afraid of any prison-related jokes.

Now, let’s be honest. Nobody really knows what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will do next. He’s no stranger to signing troubled athletes. Most recently, Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson have graced that list.

The Denver Broncos could sign Vick because new head coach Josh McDaniels, 33, has nothing to lose. He has already lost Pro Bowler Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears. And, I’m quite sure Vick could beat out former Bear Kyle Orton and once-promising Chris Simms for the starting quarterback job.

Additionally, the Seattle Seahawks might come calling because Vick’s former Atlanta coach Jim Mora, Jr. is now Seattle’s head coach. In his first year, Mora could switch Vick in and out of games with backup quarterback/wide receiver Seneca Wallace. Furthermore, who knows, starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s back problems might be worse than anyone realizes.

At the top of my list of teams to acquire Michael Vick are the Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Texans.

Even if Vick cannot win the backup role from former Florida Gator Rex Grossman or ex-Detroit Lion Dan Orlovsky (Matt Schaub will be the starter), he can play receiver alongside Andre Johnson.

Although offense hasn’t truly been the Texans’ problem recently, Vick and Johnson (who I consider the best wide receiver in the NFL) would be exhilarating on the same field. With two consecutive 8-8 seasons, a player like Vick could make the Texans’ predicted playoff push a reality.

Finally, the Minnesota Vikings would thrive if they signed Michael Vick. After the failed acquisition of Wrangler-wearing Brett Favre, the Vikings need a pick-me-up.

With a top-notch defense and Adrian Peterson in its backfield, the Vikings need a quarterback with some talent. You need your head examined if you believe Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels can be the one.

Of course, Vick might go where the most money is offered.

Remember, he has been working on a second Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan. The first one was rejected in April.

In the end, Vick will choose a combination of playing time and money. Time heals all wounds, but, for Vick, he needs money to heal everything else.

Since the NFL has granted Vick this second chance, we too should give him the opportunity to prove his true character.

However, Michael Vick’s only reason for having an extended stay in Jacksonville should be to volunteer at the Jacksonville Humane Society.

19 Responses »

  1. We don't want him in Seattle - not even to volunteer at our local Humane Society.
    Ghastly thought.

  2. Michael Vick had talent and was fun to watch. Hopefully he will choose his friends and associates with care this time around. I recently heard a felon explain her plight after serving "Federal Time." She said that she had lost everything for her stupid mistake but felt she had served her time. She wanted people to treat her not as a felon but as someone who wanted to prove she could do things right. After 5 years, she has turned her life around and is a outstanding citizen. Hopefully Vick will do the same thing.

    If you know someone who has served time, have them call Ready4work.com in Jacksonville, Florida. They have a 95% success rate.

    Good luck Michael ! Prove everyone wrong and do everything right. As Richard Miller says, "We should give him the opportunity to prove his true character."

  3. Excellent article. I was a Michael Vick fan. However, it is such a disappointment that he would be involved in such a horrific crime. But, since the NFL has reinstated him, with conditions, I do feel that we should give him a chance. I would hope that the Jaguars will not sign him. I agree with you that he is just too much of a risk. We don't need that.

  4. Unfortunately, Vick is walking free instead of still in jail.

    The average sentence for dogfighting is 5 years - contrast that to Vick's 23 month sentence. On top of that Vick lied about his involvement in the "sport".

    Vick is a despicable excuse for a human being. His only remorse was in getting caught.

    NFL players should be held to a higher standard because, like it or not, they are role models for millions of children. Is Vick a proper role model? I don't think so.

    He needs to find another line of work.

    • Larry, you are right. I agree. There is a lot of talent out there. No room for calling Michael Vick back to the NFL when there are other talented players waiting on the sidelineS to be given a FIRST CHANCE.

    • Doctors, lawyers and NFL football players all get second chances in their respective fields. Go figure.

  5. THE NFL IS LIKE A THEATRICAL CORPORATION. It's all about the $$$. Michael Vick is another lead actor in the grand performance. The NFL just wants to sell more popcorn and tickets and television rights. Many players have more serious felonies and they have been reinstated. The NFL doesn't care about moral standards and good characters. The NFL just wants make money. This is the reality!!! Michael Vick is a lucky man. No one else would be given such a second chance in any other career field. Isn't America great?

  6. Michael's my man ! Leave him alone. At least he is no old Brett (I'm Retired) Far !

    • You forgot to mention that Brett has never strung up a dog by it's neck, gutted it and left it to suffer.

  7. At this point the Jags home games will be blacked out, adding Vick can't hurt attendance all he can do is help. They need Vick as much as Vick needs them. I am a Jags fan and a dog fan, but he has served his time and its time to move on.

  8. "The Bengals could sign Vick because the organization obviously isn’t afraid of any prison-related jokes." Neither are your precious Jaguars. In a 2 year span Richard Collier, Justin Durant, Matt Jones, Fred Taylor, Brian Williams, Dennis Northcutt, Gerald Sensabaugh, Brent Hawkins, Ahmad Caroll, Khalif Barnes, and Bobby McCray were all arrested. Throw in the beloved Jimmy Smith (retired at the time of arrest i know) and that makes 12, one more than the Bengals had in a similar time span. So if the Bengals are in the conversation on that merit than the Jags are too.

  9. Thank you Jacksonville for not even considering.

  10. I read your column when I was in town last week; and again, I was impressed by your insights and analysis for possible fits for Vic with teams around the league.

    You were right on point when you stated that you don't want him around YOUR community. Michael, like his head stomping brother, Marcus, comes from a family of thugs. He has a very BAD image for the NFL. That is the reason that he was not reinstated - outright. The commissioner's six game cushion will give the NFL some plausible deniability in case he does something stupid again.

    The Bengals would be a good place for him to finish what is left of his career. It 's a BAD team and he's a BAD guy.

  11. Are you all blind or just stupid? The Jaguars are in trouble preseason games BLACKED OUT the season will be BLACKED OUT the jags need to SALE TICKETS people. KIlling a dog and taking a human's life is not the same and if you think other wise you need HELP. If jags dont sign him and we have another losing season say good bye to jags.Then MR.Miller u can worry about real issues in jax like the Muder Capital Of Florida Status and all these people dieing every day in JAX.

  12. RELIEF FOR JACKSONVILLE. WE DON'T NEED HIS NEGATIVITY. WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW PHILADELPHIA REACTS TO THE NEWS OF HIS SIGNING. IT'S ONLY FOR 2 YEARS.

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