Michael Vick could be jolt of energy to desperate franchises

Michael Vick wants a chance to start, and more than a handful of NFL teams need a starting quarterback. The Philadelphia Eagles, with Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb ahead of him on the depth chart, are in a position to grant Vick’s wish.
 
Michael Vick wants to be a starter; there are plenty of trade options for the Eagles.
Michael Vick wants to be a starter; there are plenty of trade options for the Eagles.

If the Eagles trade Vick, it will happen before March 5, when a $1.5 million roster bonus is due. Including the bonus, he is due to be paid $5.25 million in 2010, the final year of his contract.

 
The Eagles could command as much as a third-round pick for Vick. So, which teams should be most aggressive in trying to pry away Vick?
 

St. Louis Rams

This makes sense on a lot of levels: The Rams need a quarterback, Vick likes playing in dome stadiums and Vick’s arrival would spark fan interest.
 
Playing with Steven Jackson, one of the NFL’s best running backs, would take pressure off Vick to carry an offense that was 29th in the league last season. Rams GM Billy Devaney was in the Falcons’ front office when Vick was in his heyday, so he certainly knows his value.
 
"The Rams have already hinted that they have an interest," said Charley Casserly, a former NFL general manager and current CBS analyst. "They’re in a position where they have to keep an open mind and discuss it seriously."
 
The Rams have the No. 1-overall pick in the draft, but there is not a quarterback worthy of that spot. Why not acquire Vick and see if he still has what it takes to be a winning quarterback? It wouldn’t be much of a gamble for the Rams, who have not had a winning season since 2003.
 

Trent Edwards is an incumbent, but the Bills could do better with Vick at QB.
Trent Edwards is an incumbent, but the Bills could do better with Vick at QB.

Buffalo Bills

Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick are the quarterback options for new coach Chan Gailey. The coach said he needs to watch more film of Edwards and Fitzpatrick before deciding where the Bills stand at the position.
 
"I know both guys have had some success playing in the NFL, but they have not done it for a length of time with consistency," Gailey said Thursday. "So can they? We’re going to decide that.
 
"This is a quarterback-driven league at this point. It hasn’t always been that way, but it seems to have become more so in the last decade or so. You have to have a quality player there. It does not have to be a big-name player. You just have to have quality production. That’s the decision you’re trying to make."
 
When Gailey turns off the videotape of Edwards and Fitzpatrick, he should instruct new GM Buddy Nix to call the Eagles and ask about Vick. Considering the Bills’ offensive line issues, a mobile quarterback like Vick could be a better fit.
 

Oakland Raiders

Everybody except owner Al Davis seems convinced that JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1-overall pick of the ’07 draft, is a bust. Bruce Gradkowski was their best quarterback last season, but he is a restricted free agent.
 
Adding Vick would give the Raiders an alternative should Russell continue to struggle. Despite the Raiders’ huge financial commitment Russell, he has looked better in one of his fur coats than he has on the field.
 
Davis loves guys who can run and quarterbacks who can throw deep. Vick does both.
 
Raiders czar Al Davis has a crush on Jamarcus Russell, a poor man's Vick.
Raiders czar Al Davis has a crush on Jamarcus Russell, a poor man’s Vick.

Meanwhile, new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has a superb reputation working with quarterbacks and likely would relish the chance to work with both Russell and Vick.

 

Carolina Panthers

Jake Delhomme imploded last season, and the Panthers were better with Matt Moore at quarterback. But is Moore good enough to lead them to the playoffs? Think about Vick, handing off to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and throwing to Steve Smith.
 
Coach John Fox is in the last year his contract and probably will not return unless the Panthers improve on last season’s 8-8 record. Vick is not a perfect quarterback, but he could be a better than Delhomme or Moore.
 
"The Panthers were not interested in Vick last year," Casserly said. "I’m not sure anything has changed, but we’ll see."
 

Arizona Cardinals

Kurt Warner’s retirement leaves Matt Leinart as the Cardinals’ starting quarterback. The Cardinals must bring in a veteran anyway, at least in a backup capacity. Why not Vick?
 

Yes, Vick’s presence could create an instant quarterback controversy and would leave Leinart looking over his shoulder. But if Leinart is injured or is not ready to be a full-time starter, can current backup Brian St. Pierre pick up the slack?

 
Having Vick could make the difference between winning the NFC West, or not.
 
This story appears in Feb. 12’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only daily digital sports newspaper, sign up today.
 
Senior writer Clifton Brown covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.
 
Michael Vick wants a chance to start, and more than a handful of NFL teams need a starting quarterback. The Philadelphia Eagles, with Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb ahead of him on the depth chart, are in a position to grant Vick’s wish.
 
Michael Vick wants to be a starter; there are plenty of trade options for the Eagles.
Michael Vick wants to be a starter; there are plenty of trade options for the Eagles.

If the Eagles trade Vick, it will happen before March 5, when a $1.5 million roster bonus is due. Including the bonus, he is due to be paid $5.25 million in 2010, the final year of his contract.

 
The Eagles could command as much as a third-round pick for Vick. So, which teams should be most aggressive in trying to pry away Vick?
 

St. Louis Rams

This makes sense on a lot of levels: The Rams need a quarterback, Vick likes playing in dome stadiums and Vick’s arrival would spark fan interest.
 
Playing with Steven Jackson, one of the NFL’s best running backs, would take pressure off Vick to carry an offense that was 29th in the league last season. Rams GM Billy Devaney was in the Falcons’ front office when Vick was in his heyday, so he certainly knows his value.
 
"The Rams have already hinted that they have an interest," said Charley Casserly, a former NFL general manager and current CBS analyst. "They’re in a position where they have to keep an open mind and discuss it seriously."
 
The Rams have the No. 1-overall pick in the draft, but there is not a quarterback worthy of that spot. Why not acquire Vick and see if he still has what it takes to be a winning quarterback? It wouldn’t be much of a gamble for the Rams, who have not had a winning season since 2003.
 

Trent Edwards is an incumbent, but the Bills could do better with Vick at QB.
Trent Edwards is an incumbent, but the Bills could do better with Vick at QB.

Buffalo Bills

Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick are the quarterback options for new coach Chan Gailey. The coach said he needs to watch more film of Edwards and Fitzpatrick before deciding where the Bills stand at the position.
 
"I know both guys have had some success playing in the NFL, but they have not done it for a length of time with consistency," Gailey said Thursday. "So can they? We’re going to decide that.
 
"This is a quarterback-driven league at this point. It hasn’t always been that way, but it seems to have become more so in the last decade or so. You have to have a quality player there. It does not have to be a big-name player. You just have to have quality production. That’s the decision you’re trying to make."
 
When Gailey turns off the videotape of Edwards and Fitzpatrick, he should instruct new GM Buddy Nix to call the Eagles and ask about Vick. Considering the Bills’ offensive line issues, a mobile quarterback like Vick could be a better fit.
 

Oakland Raiders

Everybody except owner Al Davis seems convinced that JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1-overall pick of the ’07 draft, is a bust. Bruce Gradkowski was their best quarterback last season, but he is a restricted free agent.
 
Adding Vick would give the Raiders an alternative should Russell continue to struggle. Despite the Raiders’ huge financial commitment Russell, he has looked better in one of his fur coats than he has on the field.
 
Davis loves guys who can run and quarterbacks who can throw deep. Vick does both.
 
Raiders czar Al Davis has a crush on Jamarcus Russell, a poor man's Vick.
Raiders czar Al Davis has a crush on Jamarcus Russell, a poor man’s Vick.

Meanwhile, new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has a superb reputation working with quarterbacks and likely would relish the chance to work with both Russell and Vick.

 

Carolina Panthers

Jake Delhomme imploded last season, and the Panthers were better with Matt Moore at quarterback. But is Moore good enough to lead them to the playoffs? Think about Vick, handing off to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and throwing to Steve Smith.
 
Coach John Fox is in the last year his contract and probably will not return unless the Panthers improve on last season’s 8-8 record. Vick is not a perfect quarterback, but he could be a better than Delhomme or Moore.
 
"The Panthers were not interested in Vick last year," Casserly said. "I’m not sure anything has changed, but we’ll see."
 

Arizona Cardinals

Kurt Warner’s retirement leaves Matt Leinart as the Cardinals’ starting quarterback. The Cardinals must bring in a veteran anyway, at least in a backup capacity. Why not Vick?
 

Yes, Vick’s presence could create an instant quarterback controversy and would leave Leinart looking over his shoulder. But if Leinart is injured or is not ready to be a full-time starter, can current backup Brian St. Pierre pick up the slack?

 
Having Vick could make the difference between winning the NFC West, or not.
 
This story appears in Feb. 12’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only daily digital sports newspaper, sign up today.
 
Senior writer Clifton Brown covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.
 

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