Three Reasons the New England Patriots Will Not Sign Michael Vick

Samer IsmailAnalyst IIMay 22, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 24: Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass the ball during the game against the Carolina Panthers on December 24, 2006 at The Georgia Dome in Atlanta,Georgia. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Many sports journalists—including those at The Boston Globe, ESPN, and even here on B/R—believe the New England Patriots are a likely destination for Michael Vick.

They are mistaken. Even setting aside issues of whether Vick deserves another chance, here are three reasons why.

1. Once again, the salary cap rears its ugly head.

Vick is still under contract to the Atlanta Falcons and is scheduled to earn a $9 million salary for 2009.

Clearly, the Falcons are not going to pay Vick that money, but if they trade him, the team that trades for him has to absorb that cap hit before they can sign him to a new contract. Since the Patriots don't have $9 million in cap space available, they would have to have several players renegotiate contracts to create that cap space.

2. Vick doesn't fit the Patriots at quarterback.

Many writers who see Vick as a fit for the Patriots see him as a potential backup to Tom Brady in New England.

He's not.

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Bill Belichick has shown over the last few years that what he wants most in a backup quarterback is the ability to run the same offense the starter—namely, Brady—can run. Matt Cassel was able to do that, albeit with fewer deep bombs and more short passes, which is why the Patriots felt no need to bring in a veteran backup.

The Patriots see a lot of potential in their current backup quarterback, Kevin O'Connell. Bringing Vick in as the backup and demoting O'Connell to third-string QB would not help O'Connell's development.

O'Connell is a quarterback who can run. Vick would be a running back who can throw; given that at his best he wasn't completing 60 percent of his passes, it's hard to see how that would improve the Patriots.

That's also ignoring that the Patriots would also have to dump at least one of their current quarterbacks, which would make it harder for them to operate their QB development pipeline.

3. The Patriots don't need the Wildcat offense.

The other argument appears to be for using Vick as a Wildcat quarterback. (This argument has been made—rather incoherently—by John Clayton, who notes that Miami used the Wildcat last year; therefore Vick might interest the Patriots.)

As a fan at PatsFans.com noted, the Patriots using the Wildcat would make for a good change of pace—from scoring too many points.

The problem with the Wildcat offense is that it would require taking Brady off the field, and no one can possibly argue that would make the Patriots better either.

Moreover, if the Patriots want to practice against the Wildcat offense, they may already have drafted a rookie who can run the Wildcat in Julian Edelman. (Edelman even has similar stats to Vick's too.)

Finally, since the Patriots don't have glaring holes at either running back or wide receiver, it's hard to see how the Patriots could possibly fit Vick onto the roster.

If Belichick and Robert Kraft feel adding Vick to the team is worth it, I, as a Patriots fan, would give them the benefit of the doubt, but very grudgingly. That said, for the reasons above, I just don't see it happening.

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