Published: August 12th, 2009 | Tags: Al Davis, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dan Rooney, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Mike Vick, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ralph Wilson, Roger Goodell, San Francisco 49ers, Terrell Owens, Tony Dungy, Trent Edwards
Much has been made of various teams’ statements in regards to any potential interest in Mike Vick. As I blogged and said long ago, I wouldn’t read a whole lot into many of the public proclamations. Everything is being conducted very much behind the scenes in this case, and all things Vick have been some of the better-kept secrets in recent NFL history.
According to several sources, however, at least three teams have been in contact with Vick’s agent, Joel Segal. A market for Vick is there, and though no deal is imminent, according to a league source, something could be done in the next 7 to 10 days. Of course, if a few more quarterbacks are hurt, all of a sudden, the market could increase. Some have continued to tout the UFL as a possible option, but according to sources in that league, it’s looking at Vick coming there as unlikely, given NFL teams’ interest in the free-agent quarterback.
So, with all of that being said, here are a few teams that continue to come up as I probe around on how this saga might conclude:
Green Bay — The team hasn’t ruled out Vick, and the lack of off-the-field distractions in this city and playing in such a small market could aid his transition back to the league and soften some of the PR issues. Several league sources maintain that the Packers are one of the teams to have reached out to Vick.
Buffalo — The Bills have been sniffing around on backup quarterbacks, according to sources, and owner Ralph Wilson has openly talked about how signing WR Terrell Owens was done at least in part to raise the profile of the small-market club. Again, Vick would be out of the spotlight, and depending on how Trent Edwards performs, he might have a shot to start down the road as the team continues to look at ways to get more diverse on offense and spread teams more.
Oakland – Al Davis is the kind of owner who wouldn’t flinch in the face of any PR issues. The Raiders need a spark on offense and are unsettled at quarterback. It would be a quintessential Raiders move.
Pittsburgh -- Some say no way, and perhaps they are right. But there are enough reasons to at least monitor this situation (Tony Dungy’s ties to the team, Mike Tomlin‘s ties to Vick’s hometown, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ties to the Rooney family, the franchise’s history of being in lockstep with league initiatives such as the Rooney Rule, the fact they have employed “Slash” type players in the past, Charlie Batch‘s age/injury history).
Many league executives believe three to four other teams also make sense for Vick. San Francisco doesn’t have a set starter, and teams such as Jacksonville, Cincinnati and Cleveland could use a boost in terms of ticket sales and profile, and all have needs for at least a proven backup quarterback. And, even after having signed Andrew Walter, New England still could be an ideal fit for Vick.