Where Does Michael Vick's Career Go from Here?

Chris DiLeoCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 20:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on December 20, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

After serving a two-year prison sentence for his involvement in the well publicized dog fighting ring, Michael Vick’s first step in attempting to resurrect his NFL career began when the Philadelphia Eagles signed him to a two-year contract in August of 2009.

With veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb entrenched as a starter for the Eagles, and future franchise quarterback Kevin Kolb his backup, Vick’s role in the offense was limited to the occasional wildcat package.  Vick attempted only 13 passes in 12 games last season, completing six of them for 86 yards and one touchdown.  He also recorded 24 rushes for 95 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. 

In the postseason, Vick added a 76-yard touchdown pass in the Wildcard Round playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys.  In effect, it was a 23-yard completion to Jeremy Maclin, who then made a nice play shaking off a defender and sprinting 53 yards to the end zone.

Heading into the 2010 season, many football fans will wonder if Vick will take the next step in his comeback by actually seeing significant playing time.  Then if he does get the opportunity, will he be an effective fantasy quarterback?

Perhaps his best chance of having any significance in the fantasy world would be to get a starting job on an NFL team outside of Philadelphia.  There were a lot of stories being published that the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills were showing interest in trading for Vick. 

It has been reported that the Eagles are looking for a second round draft pick as compensation for him, and apparently that price was considered too steep by the Rams and Bills who have currently ended discussions with Philadelphia.

The Eagles have also begun entertaining offers for both McNabb and Kolb.  Currently, the McNabb speculations have been spreading like wildfire.  There are a lot of stories, such as the Eagles want a top 42 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft in exchange for McNabb. 

None of the stories have been substantiated by anyone, however, and the Eagles organization is just giving generic public responses such as "we consider any offer for any of our players."
If either McNabb or Kolb get traded, it opens the door a little bit for Vick to have a chance at getting more playing time with Philadelphia, but only as a second string quarterback at best.

The reality of the situation here is that Vick has never really been a good quarterback in the true sense of the position.  Considering his statistics during the years he was a starting quarterback for the Falcons, it becomes clear that he has never been an accurate passer, and that he often made poor decisions in throwing the football.

Vick has never thrown for more than 3,000 yards in a season, and averaged a meager 155 passing yards per game with Atlanta. His best completion percentage for a season was a dismal 56.4 percent (2004).   Overall, he threw just 71 touchdowns in 74 regular season games, while being intercepted 52 times.

Everyone knows in fantasy circles, however, that it was Vick’s legs that made him a popular choice in fantasy drafts, and it was his rushing ability that made him a quality fantasy quarterback.  After all, he averaged 52 yards per game and added 21 touchdowns on the ground during those six seasons spent with Atlanta.

The problem now seems to be what many NFL scouts around the league have already mentioned: Although Vick is still very fast, he appears to have “lost a step."  With just a slight decrease in agility and speed, Vick will be forced to rely much more on his passing skills to lead offenses into the end zone.  This looks to be a recipe for disaster, and it causes the future of Michael Vick to appear very bleak.

Further, Vick does not possess the type of work ethic to overcome physical obstacles.  This is what he recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the years he spent playing for the Falcons: “There was a lot more I could have done off the field and in the film room that could have elevated my game to a different level…I was complacent at the time, somewhat lazy, and I settled for mediocrity.”

If Vick remains as the third quarterback on the Eagles’ roster, do not expect any fantasy value, as he will continue in his change of pace wildcat role, seeing about three to six touches a game.  In this case, do not even consider drafting him.  

Even in a best case scenario for Vick, which would be to sign with another team as a starting quarterback, the fantasy outlook for 2010 remains unfavorable.  He still has some gas left in the tank to get some rushing yards here and there, but the days of 700-plus yard rushing seasons appear to be over. 

Since Vick will be 30 years old entering the 2010 season, he still has time in the NFL as far as biological years are concerned, but it certainly appears that his best days are behind him. 

With Vick having to rely upon his arm to succeed, you should ignore him and look elsewhere for both your starting and backup fantasy quarterbacks in re-draft leagues. If you still have him in keeper/dynasty leagues, it is now time to cut him loose and replace him with someone younger with upside.

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