San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary said he has not ruled out the possibility of snagging imprisoned and strongly disliked-by-many Michael Vick when the former Falcons quarterback gets out of prison July 20.
Quoth the Santa Rosa, Calif. Press-Democrat:
"I'm not going to say I'm open or closed," Singletary said after the 49ers' state-of-the-franchise event for season-ticket holders. "I'd say it has to be something (general manager) Scot (McCloughan) and I talk about and feel good about one way or the other. But we have not talked about it at this point in great detail. We're trying to focus on what we have."
Meanwhile, Singletary's former team, the Chicago Bears, have remained mum on whether they'd be interested in landing Vick, whose deplorable dog fighting/torture conviction rightly spurred the scorn of animal lovers everywhere.
Sun-Times columnist Carol Slezak last month broached the Vick-to-Bears topic:
"Let's assume he will leave federal prison rehabilitated in every way. Let's assume he has learned the serious nature of his crimes and is repentant. Let's assume he is drug-free. Let's assume that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates him. Under these circumstances, is there any reason why the Bears shouldn't be interested in him?"
There's no way the Falcons will keep him around, and it's unlikely anyone will trade for him. Vick's status as a future free agent seems inevitable. In several where-will-Vick-end-up articles, the Bears aren't even mentioned as a possibility.
Among the exceptions is ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski. In yesterday's column, "Vick: Questions NFL owners should ask" he outlines four of the basic queries that owners (and, by proxy, fans) would need to answer before bringing in someone as potentially volatile as Vick.
1. Has Vick paid his debt to society?
2. How do you convince your team's fans that you're not a bargain-basement creep by signing Vick?
3. Do you believe in Vick?
4. Can he still play?
I would also think that the considerations of other players on the team would need to be taken into account. Brining in Vick would mean that your entire team would be forced to answer questions about a backup quarterback who probably wouldn't see playing time -- if any at all -- until at least a few games into the season. We saw last season how long that lasted in Green Bay when Favre tried to return as Aaron Rogers' backup.
But Wojciechowski cites "the Lovie Smith smother-you-with-support factor, plus the Bears need playmakers and aren't necessarily sold on quarterback Kyle Orton" as reasons why Chicago could be a good fit for a town with a dearth of off-field headline makers.
So, what do you think? Could you bear to see Vick as a Bear?