Adrian Peterson tweeted Wednesday that Michael Vick would make the Minnesota Vikings a playoff team. And you know what? He probably would. The knock on Vick, who’ll turn 34 in June, isn’t that his famous skills have eroded to the extent that he can’t play. It’s that he hasn’t been able to play because he keeps getting hurt.
Vick is set to become a free agent any day now, and if I’m the general manager of a team that doesn’t have a quarterback who has proved he’s capable of winning in the NFL, I’d make that call.
The second act of Vick’s NFL career was him proving he could fit into an organization without being a raging distraction. (The first act, as we Atlantans know, was Vick elevating the Falcons to dizzying heights and then pulling the rug from underneath them.) The third act will be Vick as elder statesman, a proud pro who’s not looking so much to author a comeback story — he did that part in Philadelphia — as to prove that he’s not done yet.
I don’t know if he’s the long-term answer for any franchise. He does get hit a lot. He did throw almost as many interceptions (27) as touchdown passes (35) over his final three seasons with the Eagles, which isn’t what you’d want in a quarterback of any age. (He also lost 11 fumbles.) But he is Michael Vick, and when he’s healthy and precise he has proved he can win. How many available quarterbacks have done half as much?
And no, before you ask, there would be no reason for the team that drafted him in 2001 to make inquiries now. The Falcons have a quarterback who has proved he’s capable of winning in the NFL. What they haven’t proved, at least not lately, is that they can block and tackle.