Why the Oakland Raiders Should Sign Mike Vick in 2014
Elias Trejo – Jan 9, 2014
The Raiders are heading into the 2014 season with over $60 million in cap space, a top five pick and many needs on their roster. One of the biggest question marks for the Raiders is what will they do at the quarterback position? Based on their actions in 2013, it doesn't seem like they believe they have the quarterback of the future on the roster right now. So it's time to go look for one this offseason. Many are looking for the Raiders to draft their quarterback of the future, and I'm all for it if they right guy is there, but they can't go into the draft without a proven veteran quarterback, unless they are comfortable with a Matt McGloin vs Terrelle Pryor vs Trent Edwards camp in 2014. I'm sure the Raiders have some quarterback prospects circled, but they don't know how the draft will fall and if those guys will be there when they pick. They also can't afford to reach for a quarterback just because they need one. So what should they do? They should sign Mike Vick.
You can say what you want about Vick, but many believe he is the best free agent quarterback available and I'm not going to argue with that. Rotoworld.com has Vick as their top free agent quarterback heading into 2014, ranked ahead of Josh McCown and Josh Freeman. I'm not saying Vick is our solution in 2014 to help us win games or get to the playoffs, but I'm saying he'd be the best option at QB to sign in March when free agency starts. We need to improve our roster, and we need to add the best players we can. Vick would most likely sign with Oakland because he would have an opportunity to start in 2014. Signing VIck wouldn't stop the Raiders from drafting a quarterback in the 1st round of the 2014 draft. If the quarterback is there, they'll take him, but if there are no quarterbacks available they'll draft the guy at the top of their board vs having to reach for a QB just because it's a position of need.
Going into camp with a Vick, McGloin and Pryor sounds much better than a Edwards, McGloin and Pryor competition. If Raiders can go into camp with a 2014 1st round rookie QB, Vick, McGloin and Pryor then that just sounds even better. Bringing in quality competition to the team is only going to make everyone better. Pryor was named the starter by default in 2013, because nobody really looked great in the preseason, and he was the better looking player. It'd be nice to have at least 3-4 quarterbacks on the roster that can play well, so the competition is real. If the Raiders have to cut a McGloin or Pryor because they have 2 or 3 better quarterbacks on the roster, I wouldn't complain.
Now let's talk about Vick for a moment. He was and could still be one of the most polarizing names in the NFL in the last decade. From having the "Micahel Vick Experience" in Atlanta to having the not so great "Michael Vick Experience," Atlanta, Vick has been through a lot on and off the field. He has done some bad things in his past, but he paid the price and served his time. We need to focus on what he can bring to this team as a quarterback and veteran.
Vick is not the type of quarterback that is going to start all 16 games. He has a small build and can run the ball. Taking hits more often than most quarterbacks will knock him out of the game sooner than a Cam Newton or Terrelle Pryor. That may not be an issue if he ends up being a back up for the Raiders, but if he is the starter, it could very well be. If I'm signing Vick, i'm not signing him to be our starter in 2014. I'm signing him to come in and compete. If he truly is the better quaterback, then I'm starting him. At that point you know you made the right decision in bringing him in because he showed he is better than what you had. If the Raiders decide to start their 1st round pick or another quarterback over Vick, then you at least have a back up who has plenty of NFL experience and is capable of helping your team win.
Vick only took 332 snaps as a quarterback for the Eagles in 2013. He wasn't impressive by any means, but in the snaps that he did take he graded better than Pryor or McGloin in 2013 according to ProFootballFocus.com There were 70 eligible quarterbacks that were graded in 2013, Pryor was 67th and McGloin was 52rd. Meanwhile Vick was rated 33rd. Vick's completion percentage was 54% and he has a career completion percentage of 56%. Those numbers are very similar to what Pryor and McGloin had in 2013. His passing touchdowns to interception ratio is much better than McCown's or Freeman's career numbers and much better than what the Raiders had in 2013. I doubt McCown leaves Chicago and I would pass on Freeman in a heartbeat. If I'm going to try and develop a young quarterback and hope he can be a solid starter, I'd rather bet on Pryor and McGloin than Freeman. Vick is 34 years old and doesn't have much time left, but he can still play at a higher level than what the Raiders had in 2013.
Raiders have nothing to lose by signing Vick, and could have everything to gain. Vick is capable of running the type of offense that Olson likes to run. Vick would be a strong back up in the NFL in the event he loses the camp competition to a rookie, McGloin or Pryor. So when I say sign Vick, I'm looking at it as way to improve the roster. I'm not even worried about whether he'll start or not. The competition will decide who the starter is going to be and when you bringing in quality guys the level of competition gets better and the team does too.
Most of the people who roll their eyes at the idea picture him as the starter and getting injured or think bringing him in will stop the Raiders from drafting a QB. I don't think that's the case at all. If I'm Reggie McKenzie, I'm bringing in the best availale guys that I can bring in, and throw them in to compete. The best start and make the roster, the others don't. If Vick is good enough to start or make the final 53, then that's a win for the Raiders. You can't go into the 2014 NFL season and hope to compete without a quarterback. Whatever the Raiders have to do to improve that position on their roster, I'm all for it.
For more Raiders opinions follow me on Twitter: @Elias_Trejo
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