With former superstar NFL quarterback Michael Vick being re-instated to the NFL after serving his sentence following a dog fighting conviction, the rumor mill starts to grind as to who exactly wants to sign the still 29 year old playmaker.
Many teams have said thanks but no thanks to the troubled star. In fact, more than a fourth of the NFL has given that response to Vick. Many sources have pinned around five teams still interested in Mike yet have not officially named them.
But one team that has unofficially kept their name in the race is the Baltimore Ravens. And, while living in the greater Baltimore area, I hear a lot of chatter about signing Vick. On the social site of facebook, many people have "updated their status" to say things such as "Vick to Baltimore," "Sign Vick, Ravens," or "Please come to Baltimore Michael Vick."
I, not being a person to keep their mouth shut for long when something I disagree with shows up on my "facebook feed," I went into inquiry mode. Well, I went into inquiry mode first.
"Why, exactly, do you want Baltimore to sign Vick?"
"What exactly would he bring to the Baltimore Ravens?"
It is undoubted in my mind his talent and ability that he shows on the field every Sunday (while he was still playing). He sure would be a good add to a lot of teams. However, the Ravens are not one of those teams.
The arguments I heard from these Baltimore fans were as followed:
He could be used as a slot receiver and, without a doubt, the Ravens need a receiver.
Yes, I agree whole heartedly with the second part of that statement but thats where it ends. The Ravens went into slight panic mode after Derrick Mason unofficially retired leaving Mark Clayton as their number one option and a little known Demetrius Williams as their number two. With Todd Heap reaching the end of his career and injuries coming as often as a game each week, the Ravens' passing game is no where close to where they want. They may have acquired LJ Smith, but he is no impact player. But, now with Derrick Mason back, the panic mode has lowered down to a calmness.
It is pointless to sign a former quarterback who hasn't played in two seasons to just play receiver. To begin with, Michael Vick will probably want quarterback money since he can, most likely, still play the position. To solve a wide receiver problem by signing a player who has never played the position at the NFL would be idiotic (or a move expected to be made by the city's baseball team).
The Ravens are a run first team anyway. With the triple-threat of Le'Ron McClain, Ray Rice, and Willis McGahee in the backfield, the Ravens plan on going with the same game plan as last season. Sure, some passes may be peppered in there with the sure hands of Mason to be thrown to, but passing is still the second scoring options. Heck, it may even be the third scoring option with Ed Reed and company on defense.
If you really want a wide receiver, take a gamble on Marvin Harrison. He may be old, but with age comes experience. Atleast he has played the position for many years and on many great teams. He would also cost less.
However, that would be a desperate move for the Ravens. The move does not need to be made. It was just brought up to prove a point.
He could be used for the Wild Cat offense (made famous by the Miami Dolphins and called the Suggs Package in Baltimore) and trick plays.
Once again, the response to this is simply "why?". You want to sign a former Pro Bowl quarterback to sit on your bench and maybe play for two or three downs per game and run some wacky formation? It makes no sense and makes even less for the Baltimore Ravens.
A little history lesson is need on the Suggs Package, as its called in Baltimore.
Last season, on a radio show, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs made the comment that coach John Harbaugh should play former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith over Joe Flacco at the quarterback position. T-Sizzle is probably eating his words right now as Joe Flacco led the Ravens to a AFC Conference game. But that is besides the point.
The point is that the Suggs Package and its plays were developed to use the abilities of Troy Smith in the games and hopefully make a difference. And, for some games, it did. Many drives saw Troy Smith line-up behind center, take snaps, and throw to Joe Flacco who was lined-up as a wide-out.
The Baltimore Ravens still do have Troy Smith for these plays and this package. Adding Michael Vick for simply that reason would defeat the purpose. It has been said many times by many different people in many different circumstances - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Vick will be cheap and won't ask for much money. He will take whatever he can get and be satisfied. He will be a nice, cheap gamble.
False. As mentioned before, he can still get quarterback money from somewhere else. One good example of that would be from the Minnesota Vikings. They were more than willing to pay an old Brett Favre millions of dollars to come out of retirement again and quarterback for them. Surprisingly, he declined and stayed retired. That still leaves an open spot at the quarterback position for them.
They could sign Michael Vick.
"The Vikings are this close to 11 wins with a decent QB- and would love to add a player like Vick. If he is the same QB he was in taking the Falcons to the NFC title game- this team can start printing NFC North champion hats at the MINIMUM"
"Chances: High without Favre, Nil with him. Minny could be the team that takes him."
In that same article, David ran through all the teams in the NFC and their probability of signing Vick. The Minnesota Vikings were the only team to have a high probability of some sort. And, since we all know they don't have Favre, their probability moves from "unknown" to "high."
That is just one team that would be willing to pay him QB money. The quarterback position is the highest paid in the NFL raking in over 1.9 million per season ON AVERAGE.
For the Ravens, they would be signing him as basically a wide receiver. The average receiver gets just over a million per season in the NFL. That is a million dollar difference.
All in all, signing Michael Vick for a wide receiver, a trick play specialist, or as a gamble would be a bad idea for the Ravens.