San Francisco 49ers

Michael Vick As a San Francisco 49er? Hold That Thought

RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 27:  Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick speaks to reporters at the Omni Richmond Hotel after agreeing to a guilty plea on charges stemming from his involvement in a dogfighting ring August 27, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
Joseph Hawkes-BeamonContributor IMay 24, 2009

With rumors swirling around the San Francisco 49ers as a team possibly in the Michael Vick sweepstakes, I got one thing to say: hold that thought.

As much as it would be great to see Vick wearing the red and gold of the 49ers, is he worth the gamble and deserving of a second chance?

Vick, who was released Wednesday from the Leavenworth State Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan, will serve the final two months of a 23-month prison term for operating an illegal dogfighting ring in Hampton, VA.

For those two months in which he will be wearing an electronic monitor as part of his probation, Vick will be working a construction job making $10-an-hour. A far cry from the millions he earned as an NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.

During his up-and-down six-year NFL career, the former Virgina Tech Hokie thrilled fans with his breathtaking running ability and cannon-like arm strength. In 67 career games, Vick has passed for 11,505 yards with 71 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. Vick also has 3,859 rushing yards, ranking him third in the NFL all-time by a quarterback.

As a quarterback who was blessed with the rarest of athletic abilities, the suspended Vick owns several records.

These include the most rushing yards in a single season by a quarterback (1,039 in 2006), highest average per carry in a season (8.45 in 2006), 100-yard career rushing games by a quarterback (eight), best two game rushing yards (225 in 2004), and rushing yards in a single game (173 in 2002).

If the 49ers do decide to add the two-time Pro Bowler to the roster (who have a total of zero Pro Bowlers), not only are they giving him a second chance in the NFL, but a second chance at life.

"Obviously, I feel that everyone deserves a second chance," said Singletary.

"You look at guys around the league, there are some guys that you just don't know what they did. They just got lucky... Obviously, I believe guys should have a second chance. So hopefully, he gets a second chance somewhere."

When asked if Vick could get that second chance with the 49ers, Singletary couldn't guarantee that but kept the possibility open.

"Don't know right now. That's something going forward you never know. I don't want to say absolutely not, because I'm not there," said Singletary.

"But, I'm certainly not going to say yes. I'm just saying it's one of those things that Scot [McCloughan] and I will continue to talk about. But, we like the guys we have here. Very excited about Shaun [Hill], very excited about Alex [Smith] and we've got enough on our plate right now."

The possibility of  Vick being on the 49ers' roster or any team's roster, is squarely in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Vick must convince Goodell that he has learned his lesson from the dogfighting incident.

Vick definitely deserves an opportunity to resume his NFL career. Even though he hasn't played an NFL game in nearly two years, Vick will only be 29 - prime age in the NFL.

If you think that Vick won't be on an NFL roster this season, then you don't know the NFL. The NFL is full of guys who were given second chances, just ask Adam Jones and Tank Johnson.

Not only could Vick be on an NFL roster, but barring a major quarterback injury or inconsistent play (pay attention Shaun Hill and Alex Smith), will see action.

Vick would become the feel good story in the NFL this season. Networks are going to be salivating at the possibility of airing a game with Vick dazzling fans once again. 

If the 49ers do sign Vick, it could help them in their efforts into building a new stadium. Vick could help boost the fan base, while repairing his image with the public.

Between now and the next two months, Vick's situation will be intensely magnified, leaving us to ponder.

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