Updates from Friday, Mar. 22
I would like to thank the Eagles and the entire city of Philadelphia. I was honored to be their quarterback and took the privilege to heart every day. I especially want to thank Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid, who gave me the opportunity. I want to thank my teammates, who were not just coworkers, but friends. I also want to thank the millions of fans who cheered and supported our team. People say Philadelphia fans are tough. I say they are fair. A player is not judged solely by his past or promises of the future, but by his actions today, and the next day, and the next.
Updates from Thursday, Mar. 20
New York Jets general manager John Idzik spoke about the team's pursuit of Michael Vick (via Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post):
Idzik indicates that the Marty Mornhinweg connection is a big reason why the Jets are pursuing Michael Vick.— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) March 20, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Mar. 19
According to Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, Vick is going to visit the Jets:
Vick is planning on visiting the Jets this weekend, a source close to the situation has told NJ.com. This will be Vick's first official visit, and could be his last if all goes well. And the pressure could be on the Jets to land a free agent, given a methodical and fruitless approach that has left fans impatient and critical of general manager John Idzik -- while the Giants have been on a shopping spree.
Vick is looking for a starting job, but the Jets -- while they won't declare the quarterback situation settled -- seem committed to second-year Geno Smith.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed that Vick will visit the Jets on Friday:
Michael Vick is visiting the Jets on Friday, sources confirmed. There is obvious interest on both ends. @EliotShorrParks 1st reported.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 19, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 11
With free agency underway, Ian Rapoport lists three teams interested in his services via the NFL Around the League Twitter account:
From @RapSheet: Jets, Raiders and Bills interested in Vick, who is placing a priority on landing a starting job.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) March 11, 2014
Michael Vick watched from the sidelines last season as Nick Foles took the NFL by storm and secured the top spot on the depth chart for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now the veteran quarterback is set to hit the free-agent market in search of another starting job.
The good news for the 33-year-old Virginia Tech product is the need for quarterbacks around the league is high. There are at least a half-dozen teams that should be looking to address the position this offseason either through free agency or the draft.
Whether they view Vick as a top option is unknown. There were still moments in the seven games he played last season where his dual-threat playmaking ability was evident. Those plays weren't as common as they were in the past, though.
He finished the season with a run-of-the-mill 86.5 quarterback rating but did have his highest rushing average since his rookie campaign. That could be enough to intrigue teams into pursuing him as their starter for 2014.
One franchise certainly seeking stability under center is the New York Jets.
Geno Smith finished his first season with 12 passing touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He was also sacked 43 times, which was a combination of lackluster play by the offensive line and slow decision-making.
At the very least, the Jets should be looking to bring in some competition for Smith. So it doesn't come as a surprise that Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported New York emerged as a legitimate contender to land Vick:
Another team with apparent interest is the Oakland Raiders.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports the Raiders are looking into multiple veteran quarterbacks, including Vick, and states it would probably be his easiest path to a starting role:
The Raiders are mulling several veteran quarterbacks, Vick included, and that looks like the best opportunity for Vick to start quickly. The Vikings, 49ers, Bucs and Texans are also exploring free agent options. If Matt Cassel does not return to Minnesota, Houston is seen as a likely landing spot for him.
Which team is the best landing spot for Vick?
Oakland used three different quarterbacks last season with Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin getting the most reps. None of them gave reason to believe they were the long-term answer under center, however, which explains why the Raiders' search continues.
The team has long been viewed as a destination for highly athletic players. Vick would still fit the bill despite losing some of his explosiveness over the years. Signing him would also allow the Raiders to target wideout Sammy Watkins over a quarterback in the first round of the draft.
There's also an MVP pushing for his team to sign Vick. That would be Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who thinks adding the quarterback to the mix would be enough to get the team back into the postseason.
He posted his thoughts on Twitter:
@MikeVick would intently make the vikings a playoff team!— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 6, 2014
The Vikings were another team that went through several quarters last season without finding a reliable one to stick with moving forward. Teaming Vick with Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson would certainly give Minnesota some offensive firepower.
On the flip side, the Cincinnati Bengals are apparently going to opt out of the Vick talks. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports there should be a market for the quarterback, but Cincinnati is sticking with Andy Dalton despite another poor showing in the playoffs:
Mike Vick hopes to find a team where he'll walk in as the starter. That likely won't happen; at a minimum, he'll have to compete for the job.
One place where he won't be competing for the job is Cincinnati. Per a league source, the Bengals have no interest in Vick.
All things considered, Vick isn't a guaranteed answer to a team's quarterback issues. He's been inconsistent and injury-prone in recent years. Yet there are still times when he looks like the dynamic game-changer of the past.
That should be enough to land him an opportunity to battle for a starting job at the very least. For teams like the Vikings and Raiders, he would immediately become their best available option under center barring any further offseason additions.
If nothing else, Vick still believes in himself. NFL Around The League passed along comments he made to its Dan Hanzus, and he thinks he'll be starting in Week 1:
Vick to @DanHanzus: I will "absolutely" be starter Week 1 next season.— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) January 30, 2014
It won't be much longer until he finds out if a team feels the same way.