Top Five Potential Trade Destinations for Michael Vick

Bob Cunningham@BCunningham215Senior Analyst IFebruary 4, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Reports are coming out now that the Eagles will be keeping Michael Vick, but I don't buy it. He's going to get paid far too much for the Eagles to keep him around as their third-string quarterback.

So now the next step is to identify which teams might be willing to trade for him, and where he would fit best. Most people continue to talk about Buffalo, but I don't see it happening for one key reason: they play outside in the cold.

Vick has always had his success in the confines of the Georgia Dome and is a player whose skill-set requires that he play indoors, or at the very least in a warm area—something I think teams like the Bills realize and consider before trying to acquire Vick.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the top five teams that could swing a trade for Vick. Teams are listed from five to one, with one being the most likely.

5. San Francisco 49ers

This would of course hinge upon how much the organization actually likes Alex Smith. He played fairly well this season and with another season under his belt could finally blossom into the quarterback the 49ers thought he could be.

However, if the Niners are even the least bit shaky on Smith, it could set in motion a trade for Vick after seeing that he might still have what it takes to play the position.

The Niners didn't show any interest in Vick when he hit free agency, but it doesn't mean anything anymore because a lot of teams wouldn't admit interest in him because of the media circus it would create.

Mike Singletary didn't want that in his first full season as the head coach, but now might be the time to try for the embattled quarterback. The media attention on the situation has died down dramatically and a liberal city like San Francisco may welcome him with open arms.

4. Arizona Cardinals

After hearing of Ken Whisenhunt's feverish attempt to keep Kurt Warner in Arizona for one more year, it makes me think that he's not exactly excited for the Matt Leinart era to begin for the Cardinals.

Leinart will of course be given every opportunity to win the job, but the Cards may figure that bringing in a guy who has done it before may be just what they need if Leinart still isn't mature enough, mentally or physically, to take over the reigns.

Vick has never been the most accurate quarterback, but throwing to Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Steve Breaston will certainly help that. His play-making skills other than that will make him an attractive option if Leinart doesn't earn the trust of the team or coaching staff.

3. Carolina Panthers

Jake Delhomme is not the answer for the Panthers. He proved that last season with one of the worst seasons a quarterback could have possibly suffered as the starter. He should have been benched about a month before he was and putting it off effectively ended the Panthers' shot at the playoffs.

Matt Moore came in and played well, but it's unclear whether the Panthers believe that he is the guy moving forward. Vick then becomes an attractive option for the Panthers.

They have seen him tear them apart year after year as a Falcon, and may be willing to take a shot on him in the hopes that he hasn't completely lost it.

Vick could really flourish with the Panthers. They have a great running game to support him and a great receiver for him to throw to. Not only that, but at least 11 games per year will be played in warm weather (eight home games and three away games at division opponents).

2. Oakland Raiders

Al Davis' incredible ability to never admit when he's wrong could mean that the Raiders once again open up the season with the incredibly-inadequate JaMarcus Russell at the helm. If that is the case, the Raiders will probably not make a move for Vick, but even Davis seems ready to back off his support of Russell.

Just the fact that Russell was benched shows that Davis is perhaps backing off and could allow the Raiders to finally move forward without being tied down by a quarterback who refuses to do what it takes to succeed.

If Davis is in fact backtracking with Russell, it could allow Vick to come in and start immediately.

1. St. Louis Rams

The Rams make so much sense that the other four teams become very distant possibilities.

There are ties all throughout the Rams franchise to Michael Vick, they play indoors, and with a great running back like Steven Jackson, Vick would not have to carry the Rams' offense on his shoulders.

Bill Devaney was the GM in Atlanta during Vick's time there, and Steve Spagnuolo's ties to Andy Reid and the Eagles could help the entire process move forward.

The Rams are one of the few teams to make their interest in Vick semi-public (allowing it to leak to media types), and may be willing to give up a conditional mid-round pick if Devaney feels like Vick is still even half the athlete he was in Atlanta.

If I was a betting man, I'd put all my money on St. Louis to win the "Vick Sweepstakes," full-well knowing that such a thing doesn't actually exist.

Article originally published at 2 Minutes to Midnight Green!


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.