Michael Vick is set to hit free agency this off-season. According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, he may not go unnoticed, either. Despite the aging quarterback dealing with injuries the past few seasons, he actually played fairly well as a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013, and should generate some interest as a stop-gap option on the open market.
Per Schefter, the New York Jets are one team that could express serious interest. Gang Green drafted Geno Smith to be their franchise quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft, but after a mixed rookie season, a Jets team that appears to be built to win now may snatch up an upgrade when they see it.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were also mentioned as a team that would be likely to show interest, as they are in a similar situation with second-year quarterback Mike Glennon currently set to start under center in 2014. Adding Vick would obviously be at least an arguably desperate move, but there’s still room for an argument that Vick could be the piece to push either team in the playoffs.
If Vick has his sights on both starting and getting back to the playoffs in 2014, though, the Jets could be the early front-runners. They have the better defense and aren’t going through a major transition like Tampa Bay is with a new coaching staff. With that being said, Tampa Bay would be much more attractive on offense, boasting star players such as Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson. On the flip-side, their defense is also very solid, anchored by the likes of Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson.
Vick has also remained open to returning to Philly as Nick Foles’ backup, especially if the money and situation isn’t right in a new city. I don’t buy that for a second, though, as Vick has too much pride to ride out the rest of his career on the bench, while he’d be sure to make more money as a starter anywhere else than he would as an Eagles backup.
If it’s down to these two teams, I’d give the Jets the early edge to land Vick, which could then allow them to add some pieces on offense to give Vick what he needs to succeed. It’s still early in the process, however, and we also can’t yet rule out other quarterback-needy teams like the Vikings, Raiders, Browns, Jaguars and Titans, among others.