Who’s the VICKtom 05/20/2009Posted by sportretort in NFL, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: atlanta falcons, michael vick, NFL, quarterback, rodger goodell
Michael Vick was released from Federal Prison in Kansas during the pre-dawn hours today. Vick has served 19
months for financing a dog fighting ring. As I write this, he presumably is on his way to his home in Virginia, where he will serve 2 months of home confinement and a work release program. And then he will try to be reinstated into the NFL, and find a team. It is a HUGE story. My question is simple. Why?
Vick was involved in a terrible thing. No question. He also has paid his debt to society. And at the end of it all, he may have to pay some more. NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell says that he will not consider Vick’s case until he is finished with the correctional system, and until Vick has proven to Goodell and the public that he is truly sorry for his crime and is prepared to live a different lifestyle. Vick met in prison with the president of the Humane Society of the United States and has discussed working with them to help end dog fighting, certainly a step in the right direction. And then there is the Atlanta Falcons, the club who owns Vick’s rights in the NFL. Team owner Arthur Blank said that Vick deserves a second chance, but it won’t be in Atlanta. The Falcons, however, have not given him his release and may require compensation from any franchise who wishes to gain his services. Vick has also filed for bankruptcy protection. He deserves the chance to make a living, and there are players in the NFL who have been allowed to play after doing things that are arguably worse than Vick’s offences. All of this is a good human interest story. But why is it such big news?
Lets face it. After 7 years in the NFL, Vick was in no danger of breaking into the hall of fame. He was not a great
quarterback, and was arguably in decline. I am not fond of the quarterback rating system, but Vick’s numbers were not setting the world on fire. His career rating was only 75.7, and his best single season was 81.6 in 2002. For comparison, current Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan had an 87.7 rating in his rookie season last year, leading the Falcons into the post season. Further, lets look at a franchise who every one acknowledges has problems at quarterback. The signal callers currently with the Minnesota Vikings, Tavaris Jackson and newly acquired Sage Rosenfels appparently are so poor that they have the Vikings flirting with a retired (?) future hall of famer (Brett Farve) who is currently working to rupture an injured tendon in his throwing shoulder to hopefully allow him to avoid pain while throwing the football. In his 9 games with the Vikings last season, Jackson’s qb rating was 95.4, while Rosenfels has a career 81.2. Vick has not been in an NFL training camp since the 2006 season, and one doubts his skills have gotten better over that time. Vick was a good runner, but he will turn 29 in June, past the prime for most runners in the NFL. He may be able to find work as a ‘wild cat’ back in the league, but the truth is that while he deserves a second chance, he may not still possess the skills to land him a gig in the NFL. Considering all the flack the team that signs him is sure to attract, I doubt he will make it back.