Even though it is Superbowl Sunday, it is never too early to look ahead to the offseason. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, two early suitors, not necessarily expected to be suitors for Vick, have emerged as early favorites to land the services of the impending free-agent.
Two teams likely to have some level of interest in Eagles free-agent-to-be QB Michael Vick: Buccaneers and Jets.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 2, 2014
Both of these teams are interesting, but for completely different reasons.
One one hand, the Jets appeared to select a guy that they picture as their franchise quarterback last April, when they selected Geno Smith early in the second round. An up and down rookie season that saw Smith throw only 12 touchdowns, while mixing in 21 interceptions, has the Jets at least looking at other options this offseason. Reports also suggest that the team isn’t thrilled with how Smith has conducted himself so far this off-season, which leads you to think that maybe one year of Smith starting is enough for the Jets to think that he isn’t mature enough—on or off the field— to be the face of the franchise yet.
I wouldn’t even think about going to New York if I was Vick, simply because Marty Mornhinweg is the offensive coordinator. Mornhinweg didn’t utilize Vick’s skills properly when he was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, treating Vick more like a drop-back quarterback that should be looking to throw the ball 40-50 times a game, rather than utilizing his running ability or his future All-Pro running-back (LeSean McCoy). If Vick wants a fresh start, going to New York (New Jersey) would actually be the worst place he could sign.
As for Tampa Bay, I think this is a team that Vick should give consideration to, but only under the right circumstances. Lovie Smith is taking over a team that was 4-12 this past season, but has immense defensive talent highlighted by Darelle Revis, Lavonte David, Gerald McCoy, and Dashon Goldson. Offensively they have some talent with veteran receiver Vincent Jackson, and running-back Doug Martin. Seems like a perfect fit if you just take that into account, right?
The problem for Vick, is similar to the one he dealt with this season with Nick Foles. The Buccaneers have Mike Glennon, who threw for 19 touchdowns to just nine interceptions last year, and is only 24. In all likelyhood, if Vick went to Tampa Bay, he would have to compete for a starting job, and be looking over his shoulder the whole year if he even won the job. Barring the Bucs’ trading Glennon, signing with Tampa Bay wouldn’t make much sense if Vick wants security as a starting quarterback.
Certainly Vick shouldn’t ignore calls from either team, especially Tampa Bay, but neither of them appear to be great fits for him. The market for Vick may develop slower than most expect, but Houston, Minnesota, and Cleveland still seem like the three best options for Vick’s services, should they be interested.
Vick sounded confident on Superbowl Media Day, when he had this to say to NFL.com, on whether he will be a starter in Week 1 of the 2014 season.
“Absolutely,” he replied. “I can’t see no other way.”
If he wants that guarantee, then teams like the Raiders, Jaguars, and potentially the Rams, can’t be taken out of consideration for Vick. Still, Vick was a starter week one this season, and look how that turned out for him. The goal for Vick needs to be to find a balance of where he can be the starter week one, week 10, week 17, and hopefully beyond, as he searches for a new home this off-season.