SportsProf

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Is Michael Vick Still Relevant?

Or has the NFL truly moved on?

And will it ever look back?

Here's the most recent story on Vick.

Will he get a second chance?

Surely. Quarterbacks get plenty of second chances in the NFL. Most don't succeed, but then there's the example of Trent Dilfer, who found Super Bowl glory with the Ravens, proving that you don't need a Hall of Fame QB to win the Lombardi Trophy. Dilfer, though, didn't have to take a couple of seasons off because a felony conviction.

It's hard to say the type of player Vick will be when he returns. He was a big disappointment, insofar as he was touted as a superstar, what with his arm strength and his speed. In the end, he was a poor man's version of Allen Iverson, a guy who could dazzle and put up some big numbers (particularly on the ground), but who didn't necessarily make his team and the players around him better.

Some franchise will opt for hope over experience and give Vick a hard look, more likely as a backup. Then again, some team could be so desperate it might hitch its wagon to Vick to turn the team around, but I seriously doubt it. Most NFL coaches are conservative, and most don't have too long a time to make their teams contenders. As a result, a coach who would opt to start Vick (from the get go, as opposed to after the season-opening starter falters) would be doing the coaching equivalent of putting his paycheck on Red at the Wynn on a busy night, but worse.

Why? Because when you bet the rent money on red, you have a 50% chance of winning. If you were to start Vick from the outset, it says here that your chances of success -- meaning a playoff berth -- would be (much) less.

Stranger things have happened, of course, and Vick could emerge from prison a changed man. Wiser, more patient, more willing to meld his talents with the vision of his offensive coordinator. That could well happen. Then again, it might not.

In the meantime, Michael Vick sits in jail, and, with each passing day, vanishes a little bit more from the NFL radar screen.

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