Chicago Sun-Times

3 days to Camp: Should the Bears consider Michael Vick?

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The Bears' eighth summer at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., is going to be like never before starting Friday with the arrival of the Jay Cutler Tour.

What if they added Michael Vick to the mix?

That might just turn the campus upside down for a few weeks. My colleague Mike Mulligan explores just that issue in today's edition of the Sun-Times. He points out that if general manager Jerry Angelo was truly fixated with the quarterback position, then is it enough to add Cutler? Does he really want Caleb Hanie or Brett Basanez one snap away from being thrust into the spotlight? It's a question that teams have to be asking themselves everywhere this week. What can Vick do for us?

"There are people who never will forgive Vick and protesters who are sure to follow him to whatever NFL city he eventually lands,'' Mulligan writes. "Why would the Bears or any NFL team open itself up to such scrutiny? Cynical as it sounds, in the Bears' case, the scrutiny would help. It would be a welcome diversion to Jay Cutler fever, offer a storyline to pursue, another name to acknowledge, a different circus to follow."

From a football standpoint, the question with Vick is where is his talent level at after sitting out for two seasons and how quickly could he learn an offense to be effective, even if it was in just a part-time hybrid Wildcat role? As part of his conditional return to the game, commissioner Roger Goodell has cleared him to participate in training camp, play in the final two weeks of the preseason and participate in all team activities with the exception of games. Goodell will consider a full reinstatement by Week 6 at the latest. That means Vick could be on the playing field before even then if all goes well.

It's too early to tell what kind of market there will be for the 29-year-old and former No. 1 overall pick. Some teams have already come out and said they have no interest, including Dallas and both New York clubs. Someone figures to take a chance and see what Vick has to offer. Should the Bears be the one? Almost every move they've made this offseason points to efforts to make a Super Bowl run and do so quickly. Yes, signing a veteran cornerback like Ken Lucas or Rod Hood would have helped a secondary that now misses Charles Tillman and ranked 30th vs. the pass in 2008. Adding Vick to the mix would give offensive coordinator Ron Turner another weapon for an offense that has sorely lacked them in recent seasons. Angelo has a close working relationship with Vick's agent Joel Segal. Striking a deal on a contract would be no problem.

What's your take?

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Enjoyed your column but to me the answer is clear: Vick had his chance to be part of the NFL, and he blew it (repeatedly, from the gruesome details I read). No way do the Bears need someone with his total lack of character and respect for life to play on their team. Come to think of it, there's NO team in the NFL that needs a guy like Michael Vick.

Great idea !! Vick would be a great backup and would also change the way defenses prepare against us if he were implemented in some way. Sign the man.

Even if Vick were physically ready for football, and even if his crimes could be consigned to the past, this would remain a bad idea, and not only because of the "circus." Vick simply does not fit the offense the Bears run, and there's no way Ron Turner can adapt it to suit him. He never was much of a passer, but at least Atlanta's offense was designed with him in mind. The Bears' personnel and approach would be at odds with Vick's style, pure and simple.

Im all for the idea. Im a dog lover but to be honest, he has paid as big a price as any of the convicts in the NFL. He has served two years had time, and lose millions of dollars over his lifestyle. Theres people getting short change for killing humans,so it is time to say, he deserves a second chance. Why not here. It would make for an interesting football season.

I am sure plenty others will disagree, I am not saying we should sign him. But He ran a dog fighting opperation and spent two years of his life in the clink for it, also went from very rich to bankrupt. I think he has probable had enough time to reflect on his mistakes, and poor judgement.He deserves another shot at the NFL, maybe not with the Bears but some other team. Everybody has a family to provide for, and he should be able to for his.

I wouldn't go nowhere near Vick. All off the field and dog stuff aside, I'm not big on Vick because the guy is simply not a refined passer, and to be an NFL quarterback you gotta be effective in the passing game. I agree the guy could be an effective wildcat qb, but give NFL defensive coordinators time, they'll figure it out. I think the wildcat is a flavor of the month type o anyways. It would also make no sense because Caleb Hanie already has a season in Ron Turners offense, and you wouldn't want both your starter and backup having to learn the offense. Which would be the case if Chicago signed Vick. I say go with Cutler, Hanie, and Basanez.

As far as Charles Tillman, thats a major blow to Chicago's secondary. Hopefully he'll be back in sept ready to go, the guy is all heart playing hurt last season. I say let him take his time and get back fully recovered, I wouldn't push him. That 4th round pick of D.J. Moore is starting to look better every day right about now although. Plus Corey Graham should get better if he has to start, it would be his second year as a starter, he should only get better. The key to the secondary is gonna start up front anyways, Chicago needs to be able to generate some type of pass rush no matter who is at left cornerback, but thats another story for another blog, hopefully Tillman will be fine GO BEARS!!

Sign Vick? Only if he can play free safety.

I'm pulling for Hanie, and think he has a good chance to be one of those undrafted success stories. But let's face it: how are we going to feel if Cutler pulls a hamstring or has some freak injury and misses 6 weeks? The collective feeling will be that of a disaster, of the season down the tubes. Wouldn't you rather have Vick step in? I think he's paid his debt to society; the whole idea of jail is to pay the price and get a second chance. Even WITH Jay healthy, I think a Wildcat package for Vick would be exciting, and give defenses a whole other headache to prepare for.

Imagine this... 8-10 plays per game, the Bears line up in a double tight end set with Forte, Vick, and Hester in the backfield. I am all for it.

I'd sign him to take Garret Wolfe's spot as the change of pace third down back. Let im be a scat back and third QB and eventually work him in as a wildcat QB and even occaisional WR duties, Vick in the slot? He is a versatile offensive weapon even before he comes along as a potential QB in Ron Turners system. Short yardage QB? How about some special teams, lets get full use of his athletecism and find ways to get him the ball on offense. Imagine him and Hester on the field at the same time as Cutler and Forte. By the way, with Dungy being his mentor and Lovie's dear friend this could really make sense.

We are talking about a guy who was struggling with the mental side of being a quarterback in the NFL before he was arrested, and now you want him to be a SLASH-type player? That means he has to know how to do three different positions, and still only has a limited playbook to work from.

This screams bad idea across the board. The wildcat was designed by Miami because the strength of their team was their rushing attack, and they did not have weapons in the passing game. We have a strong QB, a strong RB, and two strong TEs. We don't need gimmicks in this offense. You use gimmicks when you need to diversify your attack. Hester, Bennett, and the rest of the WR group are enough to keep the defense out of the box, especially with Cutler slinging the ball.

Why run a wildcat when you have one of the most dynamic passers in the game lining up under center? Throw in a play every now and then to give them something else to prepare for, but why would you take your best offensive weapon (when was the last time the best weapon on offense for the Bears was the QB??) away from what he does best, and expose him to risk by running routes and getting abused by CBs and safeties? Especially when Cutler can keep plays alive with his feet...

Mike Vick is like plutonium...if you can safely handle it, it could be valuable down the line, but one mis-step, and you poison your entire team and organization. If he has learned his lesson, good for him, but I don't want to be the test market for that theory. I don't trust him, and would have a hard time forgiving the Bears if they did.

I have no idea how you're going to fit him into the offense; maybe some option plays here and there, but you don't want a situation like they had in Arizona a couple of years ago where Kurt Warner was alternating at QB with Matt Leinert.

But if the price is right, why not? We don't want him in a Vikings uniform, do we?

I for one believe none of us are such saints that we've never needed a second chance to be where we are now. Yes, your mother gave you a second chance after she caught you with your hand in the cookie jar.

Vick was never a very good QB. In his last season, only Vince Young had a worse completion percentage. If Hanie plays like he did against better competition (From what we've heard, he's now no. 2 on the depth chart)this year, I'm not sure Vick could even beat him out.

And while people seem keen on Vick running the "wildcat," I think that's a foolish idea. Cutler is a mobile QB that can actually run and is a threat to make a great throw down the field from anywhere. Taking the ball and decision making away from him and putting in the hands of Vick would make the team worse. So it's a stupid idea.

He's just a QB version of the Plaxico Burris situation.

A guy with legal and ego problems who plays a position where we like to improve.

Over-rated and over-inflated always spells let down.

I say NO WAY. Why would we take arguably our best QB of all time off the field in exchange for a guy who hasn't played in 2 years and is just as prone to turning the ball over as he is putting points on the board. Let's ride the horse we traded the barn for!



Holy Cow... no way do you sign him. Hes a major league distraction that will destroy a team. I agree with the earlier posts. He had his chance in the NFL. The QB spot is set. Vick is a good athlete, but a very limited QB. Just ask the Vikes how limited Tavaris is.. Good mobility, but a scatter shot arm..

Cookie jar? You're comparing running an interstate gambling ring, sponsoring dog fighting, torturing, drowning, body slamming, electrocuting and incinerating live a kid being caught taking a cookie from the pantry by his mother???????

I'm sorry MOMO, but that daily routine of your's where you stand in front of a concrete wall and repeatedly slam your head into it for a good half hour has to stop.

I'm not sure what kind of message Commissioner Goof-dell is trying to send to the league here. But if you commit a felony and then lie to his face about it...six game suspension!? How about a lifetime ban? How about we stop enabling these full grown idiots? The majority of players seem to understand that breaking law = bad. Playing in the NFL and making six, seven figure incomes is not a right, it's a privilege. If you can't keep from being incarcerated for violent crimes, then you have no right to be there. And don't give me this crap about how dog fighting is a common thing in the South. Vick knew what he was doing was wrong otherwise he wouldn't have lied about it.

On a lesser note, nice to see Mulligan taking pointers from Carol Sleaze-ak where if you don't have a story, you think of the most ridiculous, controversial thing you can think of and...voila! You and your story get national exposure!


I think the acts he committed were disgusting, but he's done his time. I say the Bears sign him.

Vick is much better than T-Jack in Minnesota and I'd feel much more comfy with Vick as a #2 than an unproven young'n.

Remember, Vick is guilty of more than just dogfighting, he had that nasty ordeal with the woman claiming he gave her herpes, he had that water-bottle ordeal at the airport, correct me if I'm wrong, but the emergence of some pot complicated his jail-time for his original dog fighting crimes.

Vick cleary hasn't learned or grown much if a few months ago he tried to settle his bankruptcy on the presumption that he could earn $8 million/year upon getting back to the NFL. He's a 53% career passer, he's never matured as a QB and he sure as hell wasn't watching film or working on staying confident in the pocket while he was in prison.

This kind of scum should never be re-instated. It all omes down to $$$$'s. Too bad. The NFL use to be a little more wholesome. Can't imagine anyone with a touch of pride paying money to see this freak. He and his brother sure didn't fall far from the tree, did they? Though, on second thought, he'd be right at home in Cincinnati or with Bill Belichek (sic)
Disband the NFL...

Vick despite the recognition to the probowl has never really been a great QB and his passing accuracy has been pretty bad. Yes he can scramble and run better than many half backs but to bring him to the Bears would be a major mistake, clealy sending the wrong message to the young players.

Plus there is nothing positive about the Bears being associated with Vick from a community or national public relations perspective, despite his unquestioned athleticism.

This could be great for the bears 2 have a player like Vick as a backup if he doesnt workout they could trade him for a Wide Reciever you know Denver would rather have Vick instead of whoever they have right now,or they could ship him to Arizona with they┬┤re 2010 2nd or 3rd Round pick for Anquan Boldin yes they have Kurt Warner but for how long;I think this could be a very good move for the Bears so they should sign him or Plax.

I pity all the players on any team that Vick may play on. These players have worked extremely hard to get to where they are today. Vick will be like a circus sideshow. The booing and chanting will follow Vick everywhere, and will be a complete distraction for the entire team.

Goodell took the easy way out. The real decision needs to be made by the team owners, and fans.

No way, we wouldn't want big baby Jay Cutler to get upset and demand a trade?

I'm aware that multi million dollar athletes can spend fortunes and end up broke. But seriously, how can a rational human being blow 60 mil? If you can't manage your finances, how can you manage a football team?

holy cow. when are people going to let this dog thing go? sounding like a broken record here. i dont hear people harping about haynesworth spiking another player in the head! that only went on for about a week. what vick done wasnt right, but he done his time, so everyone needs to give it a rest!
now here is why i would take vick on the bears. could you imagine him holding the ball when gould is going for a field goal? with vicks ability to scramble the bears could fake more than other teams and prob convert those fakes into touchdowns. everyone knows how he could be in the wildcat offense. what if the bears could get him the ball in the flat? he has what it takes to get yardage. maybe he isnt the most awesome throwing QB around, but he has enough in him to get the ball down field. we have a regular QB, but if the bears had him, we would have so many other options and teams would be confused when he was on the field. if vick were to join the team and he helped bring more wins i bet you people who are against him would be saying different.

Who gives a damn what the man did. That's something he has to live with. Everybody makes mistakes some point in their lives. Everybody is concerned about what he did and not what he can bring to the field. I say give the man a chance, and see what he has to offer. We're concerned about his playing ability not about his personal life.

If RAY LEWIS can be allowed to play in this league then VICK surely should be allowed. How short our memeries become with time gone by.

the Bears have shown time and again that they value integrity and reputation as a founding nfl franchise. Plaxico Burress would have been a great fit, but, Ron Turners offense and Vick would have matched like kordell Stewert and the bears did (not at all). Not to help an opponent but vick should go to the Vicking or Raiders. If I'm the Vikings I'd much rather have a backfeild of Vick/Adrian Peterson then farve/Peterson. He's younger and may teach Travarius Jackson to use his scrambling instincts more effectively. I vote no on vick,yes on burress

Whoa Mike, no offene. And you just compared a scolding from your mother with a jail sentence. And ease off on the head slamming comment; just because I have a different opinion doesn't make me a... well, head slammer. All I'm saying (and it shouldn't be a mystery), he's paid, and the way it is he'll continue to pay for what he did. But he should also get a second chance.

Would Bears be better with Cutler, Hanie and Vick as aposed to Cutler, Hanie and Basanez? Would the addition of Vick make the Bears a better overall team? Maybe not in 2009 but looking toward 2010, there could be alot of possibilities. Go Bears!

I think this is the best idea for the chicago, what a site to see Mike Vick in the line up with Forte & Hester, what a nightmare for the opposing teams that would be.....I'm laughing all the way to the goal line. Sure, Mike did something wrong, but show me one person on this earth, who hasn't committed a sin. He surely deserves another shot and whoever takes a chance on him, will be smiling all the way to the bank w/a Super Bowl Championship...I'd sure that that to be my Bears.

"The NFL use to be a little more wholesome."

When? When Joe Namath was doing blow and drinking liqour during half time of games? When Lawrence Taylor was smoking crack? When Ray Lewis was around 2 people that got stabbed to death? When?

I would consider Vick an athlete not a QB. And as such I would sign him, but play him as an athlete - WR/RB etc.. even bring him in on special QB plays just to confuse the D.
I have a feeling he won't go back to dogfighting (which I abhor) but he did pay a huge price.

I do not feel we need him though -we have bigger worries such as Safety and now CB, well the entire defense lol and WR.
I would rather sign a vet safety/CB/WR - If Vick can play any of those positions then great, if not then adios amigos

Hugebearfan needs to consider the facts a little more closely. I also believe that Vick served his time and deserves a chance to earn a living at "what he does". But dont say he made a mistake. This was a long pattern of abusive, cruel, illegal and downright awful behavior on his part. He was killing the dogs that couldnt serve a purpose for him for a long time. This was a pattern of behavior, not a mistake. BIG difference. To me (and I am a dog trainer and work at shelters),I pray his show of contrition is not an act, but he deserves a second chance. As for the field, even if they were to sign him, get real, he would be a backup and play occasionally in the "wildcat". He's not going to be leading anyone to a super bowl.

I say let Vick come in and compete against the Bears best QB that they have to offer and then let the Oline decide who they would rather have as well as the running backs who's stats are going to skyrocket with Vicks presence alone in the backfield. Michael Vick playing behind the smallest Oline in the league while in Atlanta will not go to the advantage of the larger D's across the league anymore. Mike Vick behind an at least average sized Oline in the league is going to play hell on any defense that he comes against this season no matter what team aquires him. The Bears with a much larger and consistant line play will give Mike consistant pockets to throw from of which will allow a rhythm of which Mike has ripped teams apart with when given. It's not going to matter which team aquires Vick this season, it's going to be an upgrade from what he had to make do with in his past and they will make the playoffs GUARANTEED!!!!!.



To all of you doglovers out there while appreciating your love of dogs, "humans" are far above in priority in my book as it pertains to life and limits as to how far we go with using our common sense in punishing someone. I have a neighbor(a 5 year old) that just a few months ago got mangled by one of your "precious" dogs. From what we were told by the police this is something very common that goes unpublished/unmentioned by you "doglovers" making dogs in this society more of a priority. First of all there are dogs(especially the dogs MV was dealing with)in their very nature that will ravage your child in a heartbeat while you feel more affection for an animal that would give a flip about your emotions. Michael Vick did more time than the crime was worth in my eyes as well as thousands of humans mangled by the animals every day. I say allow Mike to move on with his life, he's done more than enough for what he did. It's sad our justice system has truely "gone to the dogs".

Your book Mr. Vickmagic is thankfully a lot different than mine and I believe yours needs some serious editing. Dogs are dogs and simple minded creatures bearing the moniker "man's best friend" for good reason. They would rather love and live in peace with man. It is man who has the power and the reason to be corrupt and corrupt them; its' not the fault of the poor innocent animal. If you cannot understand or except that and the responsibility that comes with being a human, perhaps you are not entirely human yourself. Vick is a monstrosity for abusing his superior position in intelligence and up a few steps on the food chain to manipulate innocent helpless relatively feebly minded creatures into killers like himself. The dog that "mangled" your neighbor is no more than a reflection of his owner which is likely a lot like you. I'm glad I don't live in your neighborhood around people like you and I'll bet the dogs in your neighborhood would move if they had the choice and ability also. May god help you find responsibility in your life and your the life of your misguided people and I use the term "people" loosely.

I'm not going to stay on this subject only to say that I have wonderful neighbors to include the neighbor whose dog got loose and acted out it's nature,

Have a blessed day Deadpup.

I think M.V. is just a confused kid and learned a big lesson for what he did.(Hopefully) But i think he deserves to play. Think of the ratings. Even the protesters would watch him booing of corse.Someone with talent should be able to use it for bettering themselves. I dont think he would fit in with chi-town,but i dont get paid to think.....thank god. GO BEARS!!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 28, 2009 5:08 AM.

Bears bracing for training camp without top corner Tillman was the previous entry in this blog.

With Tillman on the shelf, will the Bears seek a veteran corner? is the next entry in this blog.

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