Buffalo Bills: Is Michael Vick Worth a Gamble?


Buffalo Bills: Is Michael Vick Worth a Gamble?

After two days of training camp, it’s fair to say that none of the quarterbacks have particularly impressed for the Buffalo Bills. Of course it’s early days, but so far, no one has done anything to disprove the concerns surrounding the position.

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Does anyone from the quartet of EJ Manuel, Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Simms have it in them to raise their game and take the job by the scruff of its neck? That is the burning question moving forward.

Interestingly, there is another possibility for the Bills, although fans may not be particularly thrilled about it. As John Kryk of the Toronto Sun asks, why not take a chance on Michael Vick?

Even at the age of 35, the free agent has a level of skill and ability, that arguably only Manuel can compete with – and even this is only if he ever fulfills his undoubted potential. (Manuel was unable to take advantage of his first-team reps on Saturday, looking wildly inaccurate at times, missing several targets on some open looks.)

Of course, bringing the polarizing Vick in would create a media circus. (Actually, how unpopular would the Bills be if they had both Vick AND Richie Incognito on the same team?!) Despite the work he has done to repair his image, the Newport News, Virginia native will always be vilified for his part in an illegal dog fighting ring.

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) walks to the sidelines after throwing an incomplete pass during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

However – rightly or wrongly – the NFL is renowned as a place of second, third and sometimes fourth chances for athletes, who have done wrong away from the playing field. Regardless, this still doesn’t answer Kryk’s question about taking a gamble on the former first overall draft pick.

Objectively speaking, Vick has not done much to impress since winning Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2010. In the four seasons since, he has been compromised by injuries and inconsistency, starting just 32 games, and completing less than 60 percent of his passes, with a 38-29 TD-interception ratio.

Of most importance, the four-time Pro Bowler has just failed to win, as evidenced by a 13-19 record in his 32 starts between 2011-14. (It is worth noting that during this period, he scrambled 199 times and averaged 6.9 yards per carry, right around his career average of 7.0.)

Having said all that, if you were to place Vick on this current Bills roster, it’s conceivable that he would thrive, considering the players he would be working with at the skill-set positions. Even his running abilities could take some of the pressure off an offensive line that is looking to bounce back from a poor campaign in 2014.

Admittedly, despite Kryk’s question, it’s possible it’s a redundant one, with rumors circulating that the Pittsburgh Steelers are considering Vick as a back-up to Ben Roethlisberger. On top of this, Bills head coach Rex Ryan had an up-close look at the 13 year veteran last season in New York, but still chose not to bring him in, even for a tryout.

Along those lines, it’s likely Vick will never pull on a Buffalo Bills jersey. However, if the current quarterback situation doesn’t improve soon, you may find Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley scrambling more frantically than the quarterback ever did.

Next: AFC East Training Camp Power Rankings

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