Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Michael Vick "reinstated"

Michael Vick's "reinstatement" into the NFL and the five game suspension

I realize what he did with the killing of the dogs was heinous, and what he did running the gambling ring revolved around dog fighting, deems him untrustworthy at this point. That being said, suspending him for 5 games in my opinion is a bit much. I know the suspension 'can be uplifted' on 'good behavior, but the man has done two years in prison, lost two years of his NFL career, lost a lot of money. When does punishment beyond that become excessive?

I've heard this, 'Well, he's lucky he has a chance to play in the NFL, and he's lucky he still has a job.. If that was me...' Well, it isn't you. The reality of the situation is Vick is a professional athlete, and professional athletes, like it or not, are held to different standards. Leonard Little killed a woman and did three months in jail, Donte Stallworth killed a man and did 20 days. They are held to a higher standard, so in some instances comparing the average human being to an athlete is a really flawed way to look at things. For the most part, common folks don't have the access to the money, the legal teams, and don't have the notoriety that these athletes do. 50,000 people aren't coming to see 'us' play. Fact of the matter is, athletes for the most part are viewed in a different light when it comes to everything. Is it fair? Not necessarily, but it's the way it is for the most part.

Am I saying Vick should have gotten off scot free? No, not necessarily. I think a two game suspension would have been just and fair. Suspending him two games is a punishment, it's clear, and it gives Vick a better opportunity to catch on with a team and potentially restart his career. Now with the five game suspension that is "subject to change", none of the teams know when the guy is going to be officially off the hook. Hell, Goodell can get up tomorrow morning and while eating his wheaties say, 'Hey, I should suspend Vick until week 10, ' Who can stop him? After all it IS subject to change. I think the five game suspension does a major disservice to Vick because the teams are going to be gun shy as it is with all the negative press, but not knowing when he's going to play could affect these teams and their pursuit of him as well. The suspension just puts an even bigger cloud of uncertainty around Vick.

So my question to Goodell is, when is enough, enough?

I'll leave his startling inconsistency when it comes to issues around the league for another day.

Potential suitors for Vick?

As far as the his potential suitors, it comes down to a few questions in my opinion:

1. When does he get to start playing?
2. What are the teams going to look at him to do?
3. Is his potential production as your starting QB good enough to offset the negative press and the distractions that are bound to come from his involvement with the franchise? I think that is a resounding 'NO', but who knows, maybe in the right offense he can improve. I doubt it, coming off of two years in the pen, but crazier things have happened.

If a team is really desperate (Minnesota I'm looking at you) , I think signing him, bringing him in on a cheap deal couldd be an astute move. If he doesn't work out, cut him. As a starting QB, I'm not sure his caliber as a QB offsets all the baggage he brings at this point. I don't think it does.

That being said, I think EVERY team in the NFL should look into him as a gadget player/weapon because (assuming he can still run CLOSE to the way he used to) he is still useful in the fact that you can line him up on the field and do some different things using Vick in space. Having a weapon like that can't hurt, and I think it would be smart for all the teams to at least entertain that idea.

I don't see him starting this year for someone barring an injury, but I think in a QB starved league for the most part, some teams should at least look into it.

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