Our latest item for SportingNews.com makes the case for quarterback Mike Vick refusing to serve as a backup quarterback/part-time Wildcat option once he’s reinstated to the NFL.
“The question for now isn’t whether Vick will win a title or otherwise become the best quarterback in the game,” we explain. “The question is whether he’s currently one of the best 32.
“There’s no reason to think he isn’t, and so there simply is no reason for him to accept any other role.”
To prove our point, let’s compare Vick to the starting quarterbacks for every other team, and let’s apply one of three labels to each guy. (“Better” means he’s better than Vick, not that Vick is better than him. And you should feel free to come up with your own scale, if you think you’re better than me.)
Here we go.
Arizona: Kurt Warner . . . better.
Atlanta: Matt Ryan . . . better.
Buffalo: Trent Edwards . . . comparable.
Baltimore: Joe Flacco . . . better.
Chicago: Jay Cutler . . . better.
Cleveland: Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn . . . worse.
Cincinnati: Carson Palmer . . . better.
Carolina: Jake Delhomme . . . worse.
Denver: Kyle Orton . . . worse.
Dallas: Tony Romo . . . comparable.
Detroit: Matthew Stafford/Daunte Culpepper . . . worse.
Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers . . . comparable.
Houston: Matt Schaub . . . comparable.
Indianapolis: Peyton Manning . . . better.
Jacksonville: David Garrard . . . worse.
Kansas City: Matt Cassel . . . comparable.
Miami: Chad Pennington . . . comparable.
Minnesota: Tarvaris Jackson/Sage Rosenfels . . . worse.
New England: Tom Brady . . . better.
New Orleans: Drew Brees . . . better.
New York Giants: Eli Manning . . . better.
New York Jets: Kellen Clemens/Mark Sanchez . . . worse.
Oakland: JaMarcus Russell/Jeff Garcia . . . worse.
Philadelphia: Donovan McNabb . . . better.
Pittsburgh: Ben Roethlisberger . . . better.
San Diego: Philip Rivers . . . better.
San Francisco: Shaul Hill/Alex Smith . . . worse.
Seattle: Matt Hasselbeck . . . better.
St. Louis: Marc Bulger . . . comparable.
Tampa Bay: Josh Freeman/Luke McCown/Byron Leftwich . . . worse.
Tennessee: Kerry Collins . . . worse.
Washington: Jason Campbell . . . worse.
So that’s 13 starters better than Vick, seven who are comparable, and a dozen who are worse.
Of course, many more factors go into the analysis. We aren’t accounting for potential or contract status or other factors that would cause teams not to pursue him.
But the bottom line is that, even with two seasons out of the game, Vick better than many guys who’ll be taking snaps on a regular basis this year. Thus, once the Commissioner reinstates this specific convicted felon, there’s going to be a team that ultimately will feel like it should be convicted of grand larceny.