Lately nearly every so-called expert has been predicting that Michael Vick will join the Oakland Raiders. They have nothing more to back this up than saying that Al Davis is crazy, he loves speed, he doesn't care what anyone else thinks, JaMarcus is a bust and Jeff Garcia is too old.
Analysts also predicted other problem players to join the Raiders: Tank Johnson, Terrell Owen, Adam Jones, Plaxico Burress as well as a few others, I'm sure. After countless bold predictions by pundits regarding the Raiders you'd think they'd eventually get one right. Maybe Michael Vick is it.
You know, like they say, "even a blind squirrel finds a nut."
But all people seem to be able to do is highlight the negatives while completely disregarding the positives. Let's take a look and some of the positive effects Michael Vick joining the Raiders could have.
1. Vick would motivate JaMarcus Russell without challenging him for his job
Vick will not be reinstated until July and the Atlanta Falcons still own the rights to his contract. They won't decide to trade or release him until he is reinstated meaning Vick cannot participate in team activities until late July, maybe August. That is not nearly enough time to digest and learn a new playbook, meaning this year Vick will only be used as a situational player.
But Vick would be a good investment as a backup for next year as Jeff Garcia is nearly 40 and won't be around much longer.
With Russell knowing theres a 30-year-old QB as explosive as Vick waiting for his chance, he will have no choice but to prove he is the guy now.
2. A positive locker room presence.
Contrary to popular belief, Vick has always been a positive presence in the locker room as well a great team first guy. These are the kind of players head coach Tom Cable has been trying to bring into the organization.
Former players and coaches including Alge Crumpler, DeAngelo Hall and nearly all of Virgina Tech have had nothing about good things to say about him in this regard.
3. Al Davis really doesn't care what anyone else thinks and neither should we
Sure Al Davis loves speed he also doesn't care what anyone else thinks, but he is not crazy and he know when he sees an opportunity to improve his team and he loves to take risks.
Sure signing Vick would be a bad PR move. Sure the media would tear it up and have a field day with it, but what Raider transaction isn't condemned by the media.
And aside from a few more haters what negative could this really bring.
PETA may protest but who cares I'm surprised they aren't protesting JaMarcus Russell with all those big fur coats he wears.
Al Davis is also known for bringing in so called "outcasts" to play with a high rate of success.
4. Cost to attain
With all the negative media attention and many teams likely to stay away, Vick can likely be had for a reasonable price, especially if Atlanta decides to release him rather then attempt a trade.
Also assuming he comes back to anywhere near his former self, he will be valued higher than what was paid for him. With this he may be able to be traded later for better value, you know, like flipping a foreclosed home.
Also Vick in his first year is likely to only require the veteran minimum.
5. Wlidcat formation
Though he doesn't have adequate time to learn a whole playbook he could easily learn this one formation which he would be highly effective in.
Just imagine the wildcat formation with Vick split out, Michael Bush and Darren McFadden in the backfield and Darrius Heyward-Bey, Johnny Lee Higgins and Zack Miller all as legitimate targets on the field. Could any defense cover that much speed?
6. Madden factor.
Who didn't hate playing against the Falcons and Mike Vick in the previous Maddens? At least he would be in the depths of our roster behind Russell and Garcia.
Also just think every once in a while you could sub him in for a little surprise for the defense.
There are also negatives in signing Vick.
The first could be Atlanta asking to much for him though assuming this happens they may end up stuck with him.
If the Raiders signed Vick it would cause people to further dislike the Raiders but like I said Al Davis doesn't care, I don't care and neither should you.
Coming in so late he may not learn enough to even participate at all his first year and may have trouble readjusting back to the game at the NFL level. With this he may end up as just dead space on the roster.
He also may have lost a step his former 4.3 speed has likely diminished and whether he will ever get it back is a valid concern.
But whatever in my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives and we shouldn't be against signing Vick.