3 Reasons the Buffalo Bills Would Be Crazy to Sign Michael Vick This Offseason
For some time, the writing has been on the wall for Vick's departure from Philadelphia.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports first reported that the Eagles might shut down Vick for the rest of the 2012 season, giving head coach Andy Reid a shot with rookie quarterback Nick Foles. Now, Cole has asked around the league to gauge where Vick could land in 2013.
The Buffalo Bills landed on the very top of the list.
This isn't the first time the connection between Vick and Buffalo has been made, and it surely won't be the last—especially if Vick is released following this season.
In the following slides, we'll break down some of the reasons why Vick isn't a great fit for the Bills in 2013.
Bills Already Have a Shaky Veteran QB
The Bills would have to make a very honest decision about their quarterback position if there was legitimate interest between the two sides this offseason.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills starter the majority of the last three seasons, is signed through 2017.
Save for some athletic ability, Fitzpatrick and Vick aren't far off in their quarterbacking talent.
In nine games this season, Vick completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 2,165 yards (6.9 yards/attempt), 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also lost five fumbles. Vick's passer rating finished at 79.2. His career passer rating is jut 80.7.
In 12 games, Fitzpatrick has completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,471 (6.6 yards/attempt), 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has four lost fumbles and a passer rating of 85.1. Fitzpatrick's career passer rating is 76.8.
What do we have above? The profiles of two experienced but still shaky quarterbacks who turn the ball over at a high rate and fail to measure up with the most efficient players at the position.
Fitzpatrick may not be the answer long term, but neither is Vick. A stop-gap is a stop-gap no matter which name or number is on the back of the jersey.
The Bills Could Get Re-Tooled
Many make the connection between the Bills and Vick because of two coaches in place in Buffalo: head coach Chan Gailey and quarterbacks coach David Lee.
Gailey worked with Kordell Stewart as the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, while Lee is one of the game's most knowledgeable coaches on the Wildcat formation. With Vick, each coach could start stirring the offensive game plans to include some of these exotic looks.
While that all sounds ideal on the surface, we're not even sure Gailey and Lee will be back in Buffalo in 2013. Nothing looks eminent, but Buffalo could decide to clean house and start over in the management areas of the football team.
Suddenly, without Gailey or Lee, Buffalo wouldn't look as attractive a landing spot for a quarterback like Vick.
Bills Don't Need a Recycled QB
If the Bills are going to make a change at quarterback—and especially if there is change at the head coaching rank—Vick shouldn't be the choice. To get serious with the likes of New England in the AFC East, Buffalo needs to find its next starting quarterback in the NFL draft, not free agency.
The Bills haven't drafted a quarterback in the first two rounds since 2004, when Tulane's J.P. Losman was the pick. Losman remains the only first- or second-round quarterback drafted by Buffalo since 1995.
That kind of draft reluctance and failure at the game's most important position is unacceptable.
And while the Bills aren't likely to get a top pick in the 2013 NFL draft, you don't necessarily need to be in the No. 1 or No. 2 slot to get a franchise-changer.
The Miami Dolphins got their guy (Ryan Tannehill) at No. 8 overall, while the Seattle Seahawks got a really, really good player in Russell Wilson in the third round. The 2013 crop of quarterbacks doesn't look like the 2012 class—possibly no class from this point on will—but there are good players at the position.
Instead of wasting time and money on Vick, Buffalo should instead invest a high pick on a quarterback and build the most important position the right way.