Whoa, daddy. That's an extreme closeup. It's Michael Vick, by the way. I figure it's an appropriate photo because it represents how under the microscope this guy has been for the last few years.
As of yesterday, he's a free man. We know what it means to offshore sportsbook players. They'll start wondering where he plays, if anywhere, in 2009. I couldn't help but wonder about his potential impact compared to what Brett Favre may or may not do in Minnesota. Who would have the better season?
For analytical purposes, let's say Matthew Stafford is too raw to start in Detroit and the Lions make a desperation play for Vick. Who would make a bigger splash—old Favre on a good Minnesota team or well-rested Vick throwing to Megatron in Detroit?
BRETT FAVRE (Age 39)
Supposedly, we'll know by Friday whether or not he plays. Even though he's tarnished the crap out of his legacy, he should still be an upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson. He can throw the deep ball and we know Bernard Berrian can catch it. That big-play potential would make teams think twice about throwing eight-man fronts at Adrian Peterson.
It's also quite possible that 2009 Favre would be more like 2007 Favre than the 2008 one. He's reportedly training hard this offseason—you know, buying into that whole "exercise" craze again. He did that prior to his magical 2007, but sat on his behind before 2008. What a difference we saw!
Obviously, given Favre's age, his skill could drop off the face of the earth at any moment. He also may not gel too well with his teammates after his offseason prima donna act.
MICHAEL VICK (Age 29)
The dog slayer had football betting experts, er, salivating over his talent for the first few years of his career. Blessed with a cannon arm and unprecedented speed and elusiveness at the quarterback position, he's a human highlight reel. Any accuracy issues in Detroit would likely be remedied by Calvin Johnson, since, you know, he could catch a hot stick of butter with two fingers and three defenders draped on his back.
However, I think Favre has the edge. Vick is 10 years younger than Favre but may actually be rustier. Though Jets fans would disagree, Favre played NFL football last season. Vick spent the last two seasons in the slammer. Don't you think it will take time for him to adjust to getting hit, reading defenses and so on?
Also, remember that Brett Favre is perhaps the most durable quarterback in NFL history, whereas Vick was always an injury waiting to happen.
Sorry, Michael, but old man Favre has you beat.