2013 NFL Free Agency: 5 Possible Landing Spots for Michael Vick
Michael Vick isn't a free agent...yet.
In fact, Vick is currently under contract until 2017 after signing a $100 million deal in 2011. $40 million of that contract is in guaranteed money, which is one of the primary factors in determining whether Vick will remain a Philadelphia Eagle in 2013.
However, after a 3-6 start this season and playoff hopes seemingly dashed, heads will roll in Philadelphia this offseason, and Michael Vick and Andy Reid will probably be the first to go.
So let's just assume, even knowing the risk of assuming anything in the NFL, that Vick is released by the Eagles this offseason. Where will he end up? Scroll to the next page for the top five likely suitors.
Cap room information via NFL.com.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Cap Room As of July 1, 2012: $16,548,048
Possible Draft Pick: Top Five
Cassel only completed six passes before putting together a game tying drive, only to end the game throwing a horrific interception to Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
Now there's no guarantee that Vick would have faired much better, but it would be pretty tough to do much worse.
There's little doubt that Matt Cassel will not be the starting quarterback in Kansas City next year, but whether the Chiefs will pursue Michael Vick following his inevitable release from the Philadelphia Eagles remains to be seen.
They started the 2012 season with the fourth most cap room of any NFL team, but with stars like Branden Albert and Dwayne Bowe set to hit free agency, that could change.
Dwayne Bowe likely won't be back with the team unless it's under the franchise tag, and in that scenario a long and dramatic holdout will be imminent. If they do use the tag on Bowe it won't be until they can lock up left tackle Branden Albert to a long-term deal, which could be difficult as he has emerged as one of the league's top offensive tackles.
So assuming Bowe isn't back in 2013, would Vick even want to sign with the Chiefs?
I don't see why not. They have a solid offensive line, a solid defense, and some young receivers that could break out with better play at the quarterback position.
Coming up on 33 years old and coming off of what has been a tough season in Philadelphia, Vick won't exactly have his pick of where his wants to go, but he'll certainly have options and Kansas City could very well be one of them.
The main factor in all of this will likely be what Kansas City wants to do with one of the top draft picks in 2013. There's a good chance they'll be picking first, and if there's a quarterback they have their eye on they could opt out of the Michael Vick sweepstakes.
Grade: 5% Chance
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Cap Room As of July 1, 2012: $25,115,885
Possible Draft Pick: Top Five
Second year quarterback Blaine Gabbert has seemed to take a step forward at times, but the fact remains that he's 1-8 as the Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback this year.
As a result, Jacksonville will be in the running for the top draft pick in 2013, but less than two years removed from selecting Gabbert with the tenth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, it would be hard to imagine them using another first round pick on a quarterback so soon.
It would also be hard to imagine a rookie from this year's class fairing much better than Gabbert with the Jaguars' current squad, but a veteran like Michael Vick would be a different story.
Maurice Jones-Drew is set to become a free agent again in 2013, and coming off an injury his future with the team remains a question mark.
Vick could certainly help keep the running game in check if Jones-Drew isn't back or isn't the same player, and while he's struggled with ball control this season, he'd be much more of an offensive spark than Gabbert has been.
Signing Vick would give the Jaguars a better chance at being a playoff contender next season, give their fans a reason to attend games and give the franchise some more time to decide whether or not Blaine Gabbert is the future of the franchise.
Grade: 20% Chance
3. Arizona Cardinals
Cap Room As of July 1, 2012: $4,552,576
Possible Draft Pick: Top Ten
While Michael Vick is no Peyton Manning, you have to think that Cardinals will at least consider trying to sign him should he hit free agency this offseason.
The Cardinals haven't been able to get consistent play from either Kevin Kolb or John Skelton in the last two seasons, and both quarterbacks have struggled to stay healthy. Vick is no iron man himself, but Skelton backing up Vick has to be more attractive than Skelton backing up Kolb or assuming the starting role himself.
Arizona will likely have a top ten draft pick come April, and would probably rather sign a new signal caller in free agency so they can use the draft pick on some much needed offensive line help.
With a good defense and one of the league's best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald, this situation should draw mutual interest from both parties. If it comes to fruition, lets hope it doesn't end up like the last time the Cardinals acquired a quarterback the Eagles didn't need anymore.
Grade: 20% Chance
2. Buffalo Bills
Cap Room As of July 1, 2012: $7,382,319
Possible Draft Pick: Top Ten
Since signing his contract extension worth $24 million guaranteed, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills are 5-13 and owner Ralph Wilson is another year older.
General Manager Buddy Nix has gone public in expressing the team's need to draft a young quarterback, but with owner Ralph Wilson going on 95 years old next season, you have to think that he wants to win now.
The Bills have enough talent that a change at the quarterback position could end up giving them a legitimate shot to do that. It's not crazy to think that the Bills could release Fitzpatrick, sign Vick, and still draft a young quarterback to wait in the wings while Vick tries to get it done in 2013.
Signing Vick has to seem like a better option than going with Fitzpatrick again next year or rolling the dice with a unproven rookie drafted in a less-than-stellar quarterback class.
As one of the last teams to give Terrell Owens a chance, Buffalo has looked to veterans with baggage before to fill needs, and it wouldn't be shocking to see them try it again.
It could be a good fit for Vick as well, as the Bills should have adequate cap room (not that he will demand an outrageous contract), and enough talent on the roster to win games.
Grade: 25% Chance
1. New York Jets
Cap Room As of July 1, 2012: $6,044,153
Possible Draft Pick: Top 15
Mark is our quarterback. That should sound like a broken record to New York Jets fans at this point, as the New York media continues to press head coach Rex Ryan about a possible Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow quarterback controversy.
After the Jets expressed interest in signing Peyton Manning last offseason, it's easy to see why there is doubt about that statement.
Tebow could end up getting his shot by season's end, and once he is inevitably unsuccessful, the New York media with switch gears and begin pressing Ryan about who's next.
Sure, the Jets could turn to the draft, but signing Michael Vick if he becomes available will be a topic of discussion as well.
This should be one of the most attractive teams to Vick, as the promise of endorsements in the biggest advertising market in the world should certainly be a selling point.
This is also a Jets team that is only two years removed from an AFC Championship game, and with a few key additions and better play from the quarterback position, they could very well find themselves there again.
Grade: 30% Chance