It's Time To Forgive Vick, But Forget About Him Playing In St. Louis

Alex BauschContributor IMay 23, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 27:  Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick makes a statement 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)

As the Michael Vick controversy begins to reignite and take off, let’s clear one thing up right away, and in no uncertain terms:

Vick will not be a St. Louis Ram.

Forget it. Not going to happen. Put it out of your mind.

When he’s reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell—and he will be reinstated—Vick won’t be welcomed back by the Atlanta Falcons. But the Falcons still control the quarterback’s rights, and they will try to trade those rights to another NFL team.

The first two names that pop into my head are the Oakland Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals.

That said, I have read on different Web sites that the Falcons called the Rams twice to gauge their interest in Vick, and in both instances, the Rams told the Falcons that they had none.

Thank God. Finally, the Rams are headed in the right direction. Or maybe for once they are thinking straight.

Vick isn’t a West Coast offense QB.

The Rams don’t want the distractions.

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They don’t think he’s worth the trouble.

The owner of the team, Chip Rosenbloom, is said to be emphatically opposed to the idea—not that anyone at Rams Park is pushing for Vick, because they aren’t.

But anyone who has seen Rosenbloom’s excellent “Shiloh” trilogy would understand Chip’s feelings on Vick.

Meanwhile the debate continues on Vick.

My three quick comments on the Vick situation:

1. I don’t like Vick or what he did in funding a dogfighting ring and engaging in despicable acts of animal cruelty, but he should be allowed to play football again, because that’s his chosen profession.

Vick spent 21 months in a federal prison and will spend the next two months in home confinement.

He’s lost millions of dollars. His reputation is ruined. He paid a price for what he did and wasn’t given any special treatment. 

When people get out of jail, they have the right to seek a job. Vick is no different. If someone wants to give him a football job, then so be it. That’s the way we do things in America.

2. I don’t think Vick is a very good quarterback. The Falcons were 9-15 in his last 24 games and they fell apart down the stretch in 2006.

His accuracy is erratic. His fundamentals as a QB are sloppy. He peaked in 2004 and never played at that level again. That’s a long time ago.

He’s been in jail for nearly two years and I have to wonder: Can he still run? Is he still a top athlete?

He never developed into a smooth QB. Don’t see how he can do that now. (I understand why he would want to do that now.) And he didn’t strike me as  much of a leader or a teammate.

3. A team that signs Vick will also bring in a circus, and it will be a mess—TV cameras all over the place. Questions and questions and questions being pitched to teammates concerning Vick’s past. Protests from animal rights activists at the team facility and stadium.

A potential loss of commercial sponsors for the franchise. Distractions galore. A never-ending story about one guy, which takes away from the team concept.

How many teams will want to bring all of that into their house? Like I said, the Bengals and the Raiders. Maybe.

All that said, Vick should get another opportunity to be eligible to play, but no team is under obligation to sign him.

And if Vick doesn’t get an opportunity with an NFL team, then that’s just the way it is. He put himself in this position.