The AP released a small piece today, indicating that GM Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers may be interested in looking at Michael Vick.
This is interesting because, as far as I know, this is the first bit of national media speculation involving the Packers and Vick. Of course, some of us at Total Packers had already indicated that it might be worth considering, in light of our slightly disconcerting backup QB situation.
Thompson is notoriously coy about his personnel plans. Ask him if the Packers might be interested in signing a 02′ Ford Escort to compete for the punting job and he’d probably reply with “we’re keeping all the options on the table at this time.” But something tells me the Packers might be seriously considering this.
There are two key factors, one of them being the aforementioned lack of capable backups. The second is an issue that isn’t often discussed. Any team that brings Vick in will face the wrath of disappointed fans and special interest groups like the Humane Society and PETA. A team willing to run through that gauntlet had better have an impervious character reputation, insanely loyal fans and a community that provides few distractions or opportunities to get into trouble. That’s Green Bay and the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers is entrenched as the Packers’ starter, which would allow a player like Vick to reacclimate himself to the NFL game without the pressure or expectations of being a starter. He could provide security in case of a catastrophic injury and would instantly become a viable situational or trick play threat that opposing defenses would have to spend time game planning for each week.
It’s also worth mentioning that Green Bay is still on the rapidly shrinking list of teams that have not explicitly stated that they are not interested in signing Vick.
Without going into ethics, criminal justice or politics, Vick in Green Bay makes football sense. However, the media circus that would follow him may outweigh the potential benefit of his skills. Currently, the Packers are enjoying a focused, distraction-free training camp. Is it worth it to blow that up to bring in a player like Vick?