It's looking more and more likely that Michael Vick will be available on the open market come Tuesday. And although the 33-year-old Vick is no longer the player he used to be, this is a quarterback-needy league, so Vick should expect to garner plenty of interest as a free agent.
In fact, there's a decent chance he earns one more chance to start, and while Oakland and a few other teams are likely to be in the running (if they so choose), the Vikings continues to be an intriguing possible home.
Minnesota's quarterback situation was a mess last year, with the team posting a combined passer rating of 76.0. As a result, Christian Ponder — who is generally accepted now as a bust first-round pick — is the only signal caller still under contract on the Minnesota roster.
The real superstar on that roster is of course Adrian Peterson. And Peterson is already starting to campaign for Vick in the Twin Cities.
@MikeVick would intently make the vikings a playoff team!
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 6, 2014
But that is, of course, insane.
First, Vick is old. He'll be 34 in June. Peyton Manning is much older and is coming off the best season a quarterback has ever had, and Drew Brees and Tom Brady have had an immense amount of success beyond that age, but none of those quarterbacks rely on their legs like Vick does. His shelf life is shorter.
Evidence of that comes from the fact he missed 12 games due to injury between 2010 and 2012, and another injury is what ultimately cost him his starting job in 2013. The guy has completed only one full NFL season without missing a start for health reasons.
On top of that, he never learned to stop making stupid decisions, and you can't…um…teach an old dog new tricks.
Only Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick have had more combined interceptions and fumbles per game since the start of the 2011 season (among quarterbacks with at least 500 pass attempts). He spends too much time in the pocket and is far too careless.
So if he couldn't get the Eagles to the playoffs, why would things be any different in Minnesota? The Vikes won just five games last year, and that wasn't all because of the quarterbacks. That offensive line gave up 28 sacks and had an average-at-best pass-blocking efficiency score at Pro Football Focus. That defense gave up 29.9 points per game, which was only a fraction away from ranking dead last in the NFL.
Unless Vick has a late-career epiphany and finds a way to suddenly become healthy and reliable while also learning how to become a pass rusher and a cornerback, the Vikings can probably expect to win six or fewer games for the fourth time in five years, Vick or no Vick.