NFC South: Vick released
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
The outstanding folks at ESPN Stats & Information just sent over a whole packet on Michael Vick.
Here's a look at some of the highlights of Vick's career:
VICK'S PLAYING CAREER (2001 to 2006 with Falcons)
W-L Rec: 38-28-1
Playoff W-L Rec: 2-2
- First overall selection in 2001 NFL draft (Virginia Tech)
- Defeated Packers 27-7 in 2002 NFC wild-card game at Lambeau Field (Packers' first-ever home playoff loss)
- Led Falcons to 2004 NFC Championship Game (loss to Eagles)
- Rushed for 1,039 yards in 2006 (NFL single-season record for quarterback)
- Did not play in 2007 and '08 (suspended)
- Released by Falcons on June 12, 2009
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
|Howard Smith/US Presswire|
|The new United Football League remains an option for Michael Vick.|
Keep in mind, Vick still has to finish the home-confinement portion of his legal sentence. Also, he has not been reinstated by the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear he won't reinstate Vick unless he believes the quarterback is truly remorseful. Even if Goodell reinstates Vick, that doesn't mean there will be a large parade of teams lining up for him.
We'll tell you right now Vick won't end up in the NFC South. The Falcons are glad he's finally behind them. Carolina owner Jerry Richardson wouldn't touch a player with Vick's past. Despite speculation the Saints might view Vick in a Wildcat role, they don't. They've got a real quarterback in Drew Brees and aren't going to take the ball out of his hands. Tampa Bay just spent a first-round pick on Josh Freeman and has declared him the franchise quarterback.
Look around the rest of the league and the options may be limited for Vick. Go ahead and speculate about Dallas and Oakland because the Cowboys and Raiders always seem to be willing to take chances on guys with a troubled past. There might be another team or two out there willing to take a chance on Vick.
But I also think, even if Vick is reinstated, NFL teams may take a collective pass in part because they might not want to deal with the controversy and protests that are sure to follow Vick.
That's why I'm going to say the most likely landing spot for Vick is the new United Football League. Officials and coaches in that league have been hinting Vick is welcome. Makes sense. The league needs a name and Vick needs a place to play.
I'll say Vick ends up with the Orlando franchise. First, Orlando has geographic first rights to any player cut by an NFC South or AFC South team. Second, Jim Haslett is the coach of the Orlando team. Haslett's on record saying he'd be interested in Vick and that Orlando would be a good place for him to restart his career. Haslett's also very familiar with Vick from their days playing against each other in the NFC South.
I say Vick spends this season in Orlando and returns to the NFL in 2010.
We generally don't run news releases in their entirety here, but in the case of the Falcons releasing quarterback Michael Vick, we're going to make an exception because the release is short and the event is significant.
Here's what the Falcons sent out, attributed to general manager Thomas Dimitroff:
"The Atlanta Falcons today relinquished their contractual rights to quarterback Michael Vick. Michael remains suspended by the NFL. However, in the event NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decides to reinstate Michael, we feel his best opportunity to re-engage his football career would be at another club. Our entire organization sincerely hopes that Michael will continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard."
Vick was drafted by the Falcons in 2001 and played six seasons with the team (2001-06).
We'll be back throughout the day with reaction, analysis and some thoughts on where Vick may end up (Hint: It won't be anywhere in the NFC South).