Today, Michael Vick completed the home confinement portion of his dogfighting sentence. Now, having spent 18 months in prison and finishing two more at home, federal agents came and picked up his electronic monitor today, allowing him to resume life as normal (within the guidelines of his probation). Where does this really leave him though? He is reportedly 20 million dollars in debt, there is very little interest from NFL teams in him and, as of now, he’s still banned by the NFL. The UFL, which is an interesting development in and of itself, has a team in Orlando who has claimed his rights, but apparently Vick has no interest in playing anywhere other than the NFL.
Where will Vick end up? There is no real answer for that question, as teams shy away from showing interest for what seem to me to be publicity purposes. Who would want to associate themselves with Vick at this point when he’s still indefinitely suspended from the league? Of the teams that were said to have interest in Vick on ESPN.com (Redskins, Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, Dolphins and Jaguars) none of them make sense to me. Let’s break it down:
Redskins: Invested in Jason Campbell, and I’m not sure Snyder would want to be responsible for cleaning up Vick’s image.
Seahawks: Still have Hasselbeck, along with four other quarterbacks on the payroll, including a scrambler (Seneca Wallace) and a 2009 draft pick (Mike Teel).
49ers: This move, out of all of them, seems to be the most logical to me. They still have Alex Smith, who is supposedly revitalized after this off-season, but he’s going to have to prove that before anyone believes it. They did just draft Nate Davis who had a stellar career at Ball State, but mid-major school success doesn’t always translate to the NFL. Singletary is one tough mofo and commands respect, so may be the one who can turn Vick around.
Raiders: With JaMarcus Russell and Jeff Garcia already on the roster, this move doesn’t make sense at all, but then again, Al Davis runs this team. They did draft Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree, so I guess anything is possible here.
Dolphins: The Wildcat offense worked well for them last year, but they seem to have a good unit to run the offense without Vick. They also picked up Pat White this off season, and he seems to bring the same thing to the table Vick would, without the dog killing baggage.
Jaguars: Garrard had a down year last year, but the team just spent 60 million over six years on him. I don’t think that after one o
ff year they’d be willing to give up on him with that kind of money at stake. They brought in Torry Holt, and I think Garrard will turn it around and bring the Jags back to the playoffs this year. No need for Vick here.
So there you have it. Six teams listed by ESPN, and none really make sense. Now, where does that leave Vick? Well, Orlando in the aforementioned UFL has his rights, should he decide to play there. However, the UFL isn’t exactly an ideal destination for him. The quarterback max salary is around $100,000 and the teams in the league don’t have names, logos or definite rosters a month and a half away from the start of camps. On the plus side, the season is six games long, which would be good for him since he probably isn’t in the same shape as he was, nor does he have the time to get in shape. It would give him a chance to show that he can still play, and seeing as how Goodell is in no rush to meet with Vick and talk about reinstating him, this fledgling United Football League may be his only shot.