In a press release heard around the NFL world, Michael Vick was reinstated to the NFL yesterday on a conditional basis. Per the terms of the move, Vick is free to be signed by any team, will be able to participate in the final two pre-season games, any and all team functions outside of the first five regular season games. In essence, he would be relegated to being a third stringer until Week 6. Roger Goodell, NFL Commish, does have the ability to shorten or lengthen the regular season game ban as he sees fit.
Tossing aside how you feel about the guy, this is the first step towards him getting back into the NFL. Per our legal system, he has paid his debt to society over the last 23 months. (Editor's Note: In no way are we at Buc 'Em condoning what Michael Vick did, or in any way saying the punishment he has/will receive is too much or too little)
This begs the question - Where will Vick end up? Hit the jump to read on.
I feel rather confident in saying he will NOT become a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are certain facts we can draw up and evaluate. The most telling is Mark Dominik's steadfast response that we will not sign him. Works for me. If the General Manager says so, I'm willing to go along with it.
This doesn't appear to be a smoke screen either. Vick was never the typical NFL drop back QB. He did bring a new dimension to the game, but has been touted as a possible Wildcat QB. Well guess what, we have one of those on the roster should we want him, maybe even two: Josh Johnson and Luke McCown. The QB battle is so tough that Johnson is projected to end up without a roster spot, so why would we sign Vick to fill a role that could already be taken?
Vick isn't getting any younger. Granted, he's had 2.5 seasons with no NFL mileage on his legs, but it seems evident that the Bucs want to build a young team. Enter Josh Freeman. I see no way in which the Glazers, Dominik, or Morris scrap their version of Boy Wonder, who is set to take the reins either in 2009 or 2010, and hand them over to social pariah Michael Vick.
I have no doubts that Vick will wind up with an NFL franchise. It takes one injury, or one creative GM or coach to give him a chance, that's it. But based on Vick's age, his specific skill set, and the GM's assertion that he will not don the pewter and red of the Bucs, I can safely say to Michael Vick "Don't bother calling, and if/when you sign with an NFL team, prepare to be shut down in Tampa as you always have."
(Editor's Note: On a personal note, I was and continue to be sickened by what Michael Vick did. What he and the other members did were disgusting acts. But to echo what others have said, if other NFL players can get away with killing a human via hit and run, drunk driving etc, and serve less than 90 days in jail and less than an 8 game suspension, isn't a 32 game "suspension" and 19 months behind bars a big price to pay? I'm a dog lover, with a golden retriever of my own, and am appalled at what he and others do in dogfighting. But to turn a blind eye to the sheer idiocy of drunken driving that take's lives and not punish those criminals is beyond me. Don't take this as sympathy for Vick, but an honest question/statement. I'll hop off the soapbox now)