Last week, it appeared that free-agent quarterback Mike Vick would wait — possibly until after the draft — to pick his next team.
This week, there are early indications that Vick could be moving toward making a decision.
Several teams have signed veteran quarterbacks over the last two weeks, presumably narrowing the scope of Vick’s available options. Running back Adrian Peterson openly lobbied for Vick to come to Minnesota, but the team re-signed Matt Cassel to a two-year, $10 million contract. It’s unlikely that the Vikings would pay that much or more for Vick.
Ditto for the Jaguars and the Buccaneers, who gave similar contracts to Chad Henne and Josh McCown, respectively.
The only teams with clear and obvious needs at quarterback are the Raiders, Texans, and Browns. Like the Vikings, Jaguars, and Buccaneers, those teams surely will be looking at the top of the draft for a rookie, who likely would supplant a veteran “starter” as early as the moment the rookie’s name is written on the draft card.
Vick, by all appearances, wants to avoid being the starter for less than two months and then yielding to a first-round hotshot who’ll relegate Vick to the bench. If Vick’s going to be the backup, he may as well stay in Philly.
The Jets and Bills could be options. While the Bills have said they’re not looking for a veteran to push EJ Manuel, the Jets most likely are looking for someone to turn to if Geno Smith stumbles. Either way, Vick would have a hard time winning the job in either place for Week One. The more likely scenario would entail Vick as the Plan B if the 2013 high-round rookie selection flames out in either place.
Injury concerns could help Vick’s cause. In St. Louis, Sam Bradford is recovering from a torn ACL. In Carolina, Cam Newton suddenly will be gone for the next four months. In either city, however, Vick would likely be holding a spot until the starter is healthy.
There’s one other team that bears watching: the Titans. Jake Locker is recovering from surgery to repair a LIsfrance injury in his foot. (One league source recently remarked that Locker may still be on crutches.) Beyond Locker, the options are Charlie Whitehurst, Rusty Smith, and Tyler Wilson.
When did new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt have his greatest success in Arizona? When using a youngster or a proven veteran in the final years of his career?
Maybe Vick, the starter in Philly when Whisenhunt made the ill-fated trade for Kevin Kolb, gives Whisenhunt a way to quickly turn things around in Tennessee, at least for a year or two. Yes, Vick has injury concerns, but the presumed starter in Tennessee has had an even harder time staying healthy during the first three years of his career.
Regardless of destination, Vick could be making a move sooner than it seemed he would.