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Vick in the NFC South again?

5/20/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
ESPN analyst Herm Edwards sees three possible landing spots for Michael Vick -- and two of them are in the NFC South.

Edwards mentions Carolina and New Orleans as possibilities along with Jacksonville. And let's remember, Edwards isn't reporting any of these teams are showing interest in Vick -- he's just offering his opinion on three teams he thinks could make sense. I don't disagree with Edwards on New Orleans (more on that in a moment) and Jacksonville, but I respectfully disagree with him on Carolina.

That's entirely because of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. I just don't see any way Richardson would take a chance on Vick. Richardson has been burned badly twice in the past by Kerry Collins and Rae Carruth.

Those situations bothered Richardson to his very core and he was totally embarrassed that the off-field problems of Collins and Carruth reflected so poorly on a franchise the owner takes enormous pride in. Since Carruth, Richardson has gone out of his way to avoid any player with a checkered past and he's gotten rid of a bunch of other players (Todd Sauerbrun, Chris Terry and Lamar Smith) as soon as they've run into trouble. This one's not going to happen.

As for New Orleans, like I said, I don't disagree with Edwards. His logic is that coach Sean Payton is an offensive guru. Payton has a great quarterback in Drew Brees. But Payton could figure out all sorts of ways to use Vick in a hybrid role or at quarterback in a Wildcat scheme. I say this one's at least possible.

We all know we can rule out a Vick return to Atlanta and Tampa Bay has just made Josh Freeman the franchise quarterback. Although, if Jon Gruden were still coaching the Bucs, they'd almost certainly be in the conversation about Vick.