Chicago Sun-Times sports editor Carol Slezak has made a push for the Chicago Bears to sign Michael Vick when he is released from prison on July 20.
I really had to read this story for myself to believe it.
Reaction to this story has ranged from "you're kidding me," to profanity-laced tirades from other writers, and profanity-laced comments posted on the paper's website.
"Let's assume he will leave federal prison rehabilitated in every way. Let's assume he has learned the serious nature of his crimes and is repentant. Let's assume he is drug-free. Let's assume that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates him. Under these circumstances, is there any reason why the Bears shouldn't be interested in him?"
If what she says does indeed somehow come to fruition, expect PETA and its supporters to be like vultures at Soldier Field, and everywhere else the team goes.
There are also multiple issues for the Bears within signing Vick, not including the impending public relations nightmare.
For one, we do not know just how football ready he will be; although during his prison sentence, it has been said he has been playing in the yards.
When he is released (and possibly signed by an NFL team) he would have only six weeks' time to learn the offense, and to establish a rapport with the current receiving corps, also—not to mention an entire locker room.
Vick's passing ability has not been something to be impressed with, too. Though he throws a great deep ball and has tremendous velocity for a southpaw, his career completion percentage is at sub-par 53 percent. Many times this season, Devin Hester's ability to get loose downfield was negated by the inability of quarterbacks to connect with him. Vick will not solve that.
Even at 28 and coming out of prison, how confident will the Bears and their fans be in trusting Vick's ability to run to make plays—which was his most dangerous asset. Running backs tend to start breaking down around age 30, so the strength of his legs will be constantly in question.
While her intentions are good, I'm not sure Bears fans would want to endure this kind of negative press on their franchise for signing a criminal.
People are on both sides of the fence on this issue, from those who say he deserves a second chance, to outright cynics who believe celebrities do not get punished enough, and that this signing would be a spit in the face to those who work hard everyday.
But Vick is not the same quarterback that took the Falcons to the NFC title game in 2004.
Even though I'm all for second chances, something of this magnitude is something the Bears front office should really think twice over before making a decision.