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Factors and Questions surrounding Vick and the Bills

They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire and the Michael Vick chatter that started back in early November seems to be smoldering by the day.

Former Buccaneers and Colts head coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy said back in early November during the Sunday night pre game show between Dallas and Philadelphia, that Buffalo would be a potential landing spot for Vick in the offseason.  Here’s some of Dungy’s comments about the situation:

“It’s technically up to Philadelphia. If they want him back, he has to stay there. If they don’t, there are some teams looking for quarterbacks: Cleveland, St. Louis and Washington,” Dungy said. “But I think a dark horse is Buffalo. They talked originally. There was some communication there. I think that could be a good spot.”

While Dungy’s comments carry some weight and Vick to the Bills makes some sense, it’s not that simple.  There are several questions and hurdles surrounding both Vick and Buffalo if the two are going to unite this offseason.

The Eagles holds the cards, not Vick.   Vick remains under contract with Philadelphia.  He signed a one year deal worth $1.6 million in 2009 with a team option for 2010 worth $5.2 million.  So the Eagles are in a position of strength and they hold all the cards.  They could keep him, trade him or release him.  Essentially, Vick is helpless here.  He’s property of Philadelphia, and while he can request a trade or release, the Eagles don’t have to oblige him.

The cloudy QB situation in Philly.  Ultimately, this is the biggest question that has the biggest domino effect.  What the Eagles decide to do with Donovan McNabb will largely dictate what happens with Vick.  If they keep McNabb next year or beyond next year should they give McNabb a contract extension, from a business standpoint having your the third string quarterback making $5.2 million doesn’t make much sense considering the Eagles could use Vick’s money to upgrade either the offensive or defensive line. Let’s say the Eagles trade McNabb and turn to Kevin Kolb.  That still leaves Vick in a backup role and he covets another opportunity as a starting quarterback.  But should the Eagles go with Kolb, having Vick serve as his backup would give the Eagles a good insurance policy should Kolb struggle.  Like I said, cloudy.

Who else would be interested in Vick?   The Bills aren’t the only team that’s quarterback starved, so it would be naiive to think that the Bills won’t have some competition for Vick’s services should the Eagles make him available.  Given the rather weak upcoming free agent class of quarterbacks, Vick could be attractive to teams like St. Louis, Cleveland and Oakland.   If Brett Favre retires, Minnesota could be added to the list.  So too could Arizona, with the recent retirement of Kurt Warner.  If Mike Shanahan and his staff decide Jason Campbell doesn’t fit into their longterm plans, Washington could get in on the Vick chase.

Where do Bills GM Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey stand on the Bills’ current QB situtaion?  Real good question.  We can safely assume that there has been an extensive, ongoing evaluation of the current QB’s on the Bills roster.  Or at least we hope so.  To date, it seems as though no decisions have been made on what to do with Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brian Brohm.   Edwards regressed heavily in 2009 and his days could be numbered.  Fitzpatrick is better suited as a backup rather than a starter.  Brohm is still a mystery.  Translation: the Bills have 3 quarterbacks, which essentially means they don’t have one.  Vick would be a big upgrade over what the Bills currently have to work with.

Vick’s style suits Bills’ lackluster offense.  Say what you will about him, but Vick is definitely a weapon that you have to gameplan for during the week.  How many players on the Bills’ roster can you say that about?  Gailey has had success in the past with athletic quarterbacks such as Kordell Stewart in Pittsburgh and Tyler Thigpen in Kansas City.  While neither player screams franchise guy, Gailey used both effectively in the running and passing attack.  Vick has had numerous Sportcenter and Youtube highlights on the ground and he’s known to be deadly with his legs.  He’s much better than both Stewart and Thigpen and would be a huge upgrade over what the Bills have now.  Not to mention playing behind the Bills’ offensive line, it wouldn’t hurt to have a quarterback with the ability to make plays with his legs.

What will it cost the Bills to acquire Vick?  I’d say their best bet is to give the Eagles a courtesy call and see what their plan of action is.  Purely speculation on my part, but for argument’s sake I’d say that you’re probably looking at giving up a 2nd day pick, in the 5th or 6th round range, possibly even a 4th rounder.  If Philadelphia is asking for anything higher, the price might be too high for the Bills.

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One Response to “Factors and Questions surrounding Vick and the Bills”

  1. […] Patrick Moran wrote a very interesting post today.   Here’s a quick excerpt:They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire and the Michael Vick chatter that started back in early November seems to be smoldering by the day. Former Buccaneers and Colts head coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy said back in early … […]

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