When the new league year begins, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will enter the open market, and his name should be a hot item. The 33-year old quarterback fits the mold of an athletic quarterback that can also throw the ball well, and although he may be aging, he still has the talent to play in the league.
The question on everyone’s minds now is, will Vick be picked up as a starting quarterback or as a backup, likely mentoring a young quarterback?
Unlike last year, this year’s draft stock of quarterbacks actually has something to offer to teams that are looking to pick up a young quarterback, whether that be for developmental reasons or to be the team’s future starter. For Vick, that means fewer teams will be looking for semi-long-term solutions. Instead, teams may target him as a veteran that can start for a season or two while he helps a young quarterback find his footing at the pro level.
Although Vick was displaced by Nick Foles in Philadelphia, we shouldn’t overlook him as a potential starter, even if that’s not in a long-term capacity. This isn’t the run-of-the-mill free agent quarterback that normally hits the open market. Vick can be fully ready to start for a quarterback needy team if he’s picked up early in the offseason, and he’ll give them every opportunity to win enough games to make a postseason run, depending, of course, on the level of talent around him.
If Vick were five years younger, or maybe just a few years younger, he’d be the hottest name in free agency. He offers teams flexibility in their offense that is seldom available, even with the best quarterbacks in the league.
The reason behind that flexibility is simple. Vick has the talent to run any offense a coordinator could dream up. He can be an option quarterback, sure, but he also has the ability to pick defenses apart with his arm. In addition, Vick still sports one of the more powerful throwing arms in the game, making him ideal for stretching the field vertically.
Statistically, won’t dazzle anyone with his completion percentage, which is just 56.2% in his career, but he doesn’t turn the ball over a whole lot, and he gives his teams an added running weapon that pocket passers simply can’t match.
So, does Vick deserve an opportunity to claim a starting role in the NFL? Sure he does. The trick is finding a team that is willing to bring him in with that opportunity.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Jets may be interested in bringing Vick into the fold. Marty Mornhinweg, the Jets’ offensive coordinator, worked with Vick in Philadelphia, and the Jets would probably love to bring in a quarterback with a skillset comparable to Geno Smith to help him grown into his own role with the Jets. Vick fits that profile very well, and he’d give the Jets the benefit of being able to let Smith sit and learn for a season.
The Jets may be a good fit for Vick, but that’s just one opportunity that could arise. Vick has the talent to lead a team for several more years before he’ll retire. Drafting young quarterbacks is always a sketchy business, and by bringing in Vick, teams can give themselves a short-term insurance policy that allows them to develop young player for down the road. It’s likely Vick will be seeking the chance to be someone’s starter moving forward, and I see no reason he can’t find such a situation.