Vick? Sorry, not likely

Posted be ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Atlanta's release of quarterback Michael Vick is bound to jump-start speculation that he could wind up in the NFC North. As we all know, our teams are none too scared to look elsewhere for a quarterback.

But I think that's part of the illogic being applied right now to the public discussion on Vick's future. I don't see anyone -- Black and Blue or otherwise -- signing Vick to be an unquestioned starting quarterback. It seems to me that if Vick returns to the NFL, after at least a two-year layoff and possibly three, the best he's going to do is find a backup role on a team with a shaky starter.

I know Minnesota will have some room for competition if Brett Favre decides to remain retired, but I don't think the team will have interest. Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman was pretty blunt when the topic came up during the scouting combine in February.

"We're very strong on character and what type of people [we have]," Spielman said. "[Reporters] know how we've been about the kinds of players we've brought in."

In general, the Vikings are pretty conservative about pursuing players who have character issues or at least checkered pasts. They've made some exceptions, most notably with defensive end Jared Allen and receiver Percy Harvin, but it sure sounded like Spielman already has his mind made up on Vick.

Vick isn't a totally unattractive possibility as a backup. Given the state of quarterbacking in the NFL, he could be an attractive option for a team needing veteran insurance. Take Chicago, for instance.

The Bears are planning to use either Caleb Hanie or Brett Basanez as their No. 2 behind Jay Cutler. What if they soured on both players? I wouldn't feel uncomfortable entering a game with Cutler as the starter and Vick as the backup.

That said, I don't think the Bears or any other NFC North team have Vick on their short lists -- as a starter or backup. As NFC South overlord Pat Yasinskas noted, Vick's most likely destination for 2009 is the Orlando franchise of the new United Football League.