Let’s assume for now that the reports of quarterback Mike Vick’s conditional reinstatement to the NFL followed by a four-game suspension to start the regular season are accurate — notwithstanding strong indications that no decisions have been made by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
If that’s the case, what will Vick’s next step be?
At this point, it’s not clear. Multiple teams are expected to emerge from the shadows to pursue him, but some might be reluctant absent proof that Vick can still run like Randy Moss as once described by Bobby Bowden. (You’ll understand why we put it that way if you click the link.)
It’s our understanding that Vick will convene with trainer Tom Shaw, who contrary to reports has not yet officially been engaged to assist Vick’s preparations to return to football. Shaw will then advise Vick on whether he is ready, or whether he needs more time to get in pre-camp football shape.
And we’re hearing that it’s possible Shaw and Vick will decide to invite interested teams to watch Vick run, cut, jump, throw, etc. — just as he would in a pre-draft workout.
There’s some skepticism in non-league circles that Vick’s extended layoff will leave him rusty and out of shape. The other side of the coin, however, is that Vick’s legs have avoided an NFL-style pounding for more than 30 months.
That said, if a team is willing to sign Vick without a tire-kicking, then there might not be a multi-team workout. But given that the decision to welcome one of the most notorious players onto a team is the kind of thing that will get people fired if it blows up, we doubt that anyone will ink Vick without getting a look at whether he still has the uncanny footspeed and agility that helped overcome his deficiencies in the passing game.