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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Will Vick re-start his career with Bucs?

6

April

Michael Vick could return to the NFL next season after serving a 23-month prison sentence for dogfighting that could end with his release from federal custody in July.

Peter King, the highly respected senior writer for Sports Illustrated, speculated in his Monday Morning Quarterback column today that he believes the most logical landing spot for Vick is either with the Raiders or Bucs.

King goes onto explain how he doesn't think new Bucs general manager Mark Dominik 'is afraid of him.''

While it's true that Dominik will explore all avenues to improve the Bucs, it's hard to believe we'll be seeing Vick in red and pewter in 2009.

Let's start with the obvious: Vick has not played football in two seasons. Even if you can be satisfied his skills haven't significantly diminished, he still remains property of the Atlanta Falcons, who are unlikely to trade him to an NFC South team.

If Vick is reinstated and the Falcons decide to release him, the salary cap hit would be $7.11-million in 2009.

Teams would be free to negotiate a more reasonable deal with Vick as a condition of the trade. More than likely the Falcons will be forced to released Vick and he will become a free agent.

But even if you were satisfied with Vick's character, that he had paid his debt to society and was still talented enough to help your football team, why would the Bucs or Dominik want to invite the circus to town?

Remember, Dominik worked for Falcons president Rich McKay when McKay was the Bucs' general manager and he had a pretty good look at what the Vick spectacle did to the Falcons organization.

Bring Vick to town and expect the satillite trucks and animal rights activists to follow him there.

All this for a 28-year-old player who had questionable talents as a quarterback to begin with. In six seasons, Vick was a 53.8 percent passer who threw 71 touchdown passes and 52 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 75.7. His real threat came as a rusher, having gained 3,859 yards and scored 21 touchdowns on the ground.

Imagine Vick in the wildcat formation or operating a spread offense. But is Vick going to be the guy you put under center for 16 weeks as your starting quarterback? If you're the Bucs, probably not.

And if Vick is going to re-start his career as a 'role player,' is he worth the distraction in the locker room? Do you want your starting quarterback, whether it's Luke McCown or someone else, being peppered by questions every day about how Vick looked in practice and whether he's looking over his shoulder?

It's reasonable to speculate that teams without an established quarterback might want to consider Vick. But I don't believe Dominik or Raheem Morris want to go down that road. What do you think?

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:30pm]

    

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