As quarterback Mike Vick prepares to become a free agent for the first time since the days after he gained his freedom in 2009, a couple of potential candidates can be crossed off the list.
In recent days, the Jaguars and Vikings had emerged as potentially interested teams. On Friday, both re-signed veteran quarterbacks for amounts that would make it unlikely that another veteran quarterback will be signed at a similar rate.
As to the Jaguars, word emerged only recently that they had interest. Some believe that the interest wasn’t genuine, and that it was part of the effort to get Henne to agree to terms.
As to the Vikings, the possibility of signing Vick emerged after tailback Adrian Peterson played G.M.-for-a-tweet and lobbied the team to sign the former Falcons and Eagles starter. In the aftermath of Peterson’s passive-aggressive power play, it was believed that Vick could land with the Vikings, if Matt Cassel signed elsewhere. With Cassel now getting a reported $10 million over two years, it makes little sense for the Vikings to spend as much if not more for Vick.
Both teams have first-round quarterbacks from 2011 on the roster, but each has a very reasonable salary for 2014. Blaine Gabbert, the 10th pick three years ago, has a base salary of $2.011 million. Christian Ponder, the 12th selection in 2011, will earn $1.76 million. Both will be much cheaper than a veteran free agent with similar experience.
Look for both teams to add at least one rookie, and for neither to be interested in a veteran who would want as much or more than the amounts to be paid to Henne and Cassel. Also look for Vick to look for a team where he’ll be paid as much or more than Cassel received in Minnesota — and where Vick will have a legitimate chance to win the starting job.