Falcons Find Vick Trade Talks Moot

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: February 27, 2009

Thomas Dimitroff

Thomas Dimitroff

PHILADELPHIA — A week and half after Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff opened the bidding for suspended and imprisoned quarterback Michael Vick by saying, “We feel a trade is the best move for the Falcons, and it’s also in the best interest of Michael”, the Falcons learned that there is no trade market for the deposed passer.

Of course some will paint Vick’s non-trade as a victory for animal lovers as the former quarterback, who is serving time for his role in a federal dogfighting ring, is Persona Non Grata to some after his actions.

But the real reason that Vick, scheduled to be released by July 2009, was not traded is plain and simple, “MONEY”. With the start of NFL free agency, no team wanted to overburden their salary cap with Vick’s current huge contract — set to make a base salary of $9 million and $6.43 million more in bonuses in 2009 on his current January 2005 contract extension of 10-years, $130 million with a then NFL-record $37 million in bonuses.

In fact any team trading for Vick would be on the hook for $45.11 million through 2013, with another possible $3 million in Pro Bowl bonuses. So even if there is a market for the 28-year old Vick, it doesn’t make good business sense for teams to not wait for his inevitable release from the Falcons later this summer and then signing him for the veteran minimum ($760,000 dollars).

The Falcons may even give Vick his chance to find a new home earlier than expected, as they also don’t want Vick’s monstrous contract on their books for the upcoming season (currently at $101 million of the 2009 season’s $124 Million cap).

To those that believe the NFL is a closed door to Vick once he is released from prison, you better wake-up to the reality that in the National Football League winning trumps everything.

Each Sunday NFL fans cheer for players that have committed crimes from domestic violence to weapons charges, so why not give Vick a player who actually served legitimate time in prison another chance.

Mark my words, if Vick is re-instated by commissioner Roger Goodell for the 2009 NFL Season — I expect him to get anywhere from no suspension to a light suspension of 4 games — “Someone will take a shot on him”. Already in the face of some quarterback starved teams saying, “No Way” to Vick (Vikings, Seahawks, Jets, Buccaneers, and Lions), some good news came from a respected voice around the NFL.

While hedging whether his team had any interest in Vick, San Francisco 49ers’ head coach and Hall of Famer Mike Singletary said Vick deserves the chance to play in the league, and believes he will be successful if he returns.

It will be interesting to see if Vick will continue to draw the hardline on playing quarterback in looking for a rebirth in the NFL — Vick’s agent, Joel Segal, has said the former superstar won’t consider a move to a new position — or humble himself to teams, coaches, and fans by considering any opportunity to return to the NFL (backup QB/Wildcat QB/KR/Slot WR).

I thought an interesting note for all of those “Make Him a Receiver Folks”, Vick has two career catches for negative 13 yards in his NFL career and he has been a quarterback since playing Pop Warner back in his early days in Virginia.

I think his best option would be to latch on to the NFL’s newest a craze, the “Wildcat” offense — need a quarterback that is adept at running and throwing. The offense is tailored made for Vick as he was the first quarterback in the modern era to rush for 1,000 yards (ran for 1,039 yards and 2 touchdowns in ’06) plus there is also his incredible career 7.3 yards per rush average.

The Wildcat would allow him the opportunity to get on the field in key situations (ex. Goal-line) while he knocks off over 2 years of rust.

So, “Where will Vick go?” is the obvious next question.

Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick told Yahoo, “…the baggage Vick brings will severely limit the available pool of teams”. The former Super Bowl winning coach turned NFL analyst added, “For one thing, if Vick fails or gets in trouble with his new team, he could bring down the career of the coach and general manager who take a chance on him”.

So it was up to Yahoo to suggest a few teams as landing spots (Raiders, Cowboys or Bengals) and I will add the Rams, Panthers, and Texans.