The NFL has been supportive of the reinstatement of Vick and he has been a model citizen since his release from prison. Funding a dog-fighting ring was a vicious crime, but Vick has paid his debt back to society.
It's a personal decision on whether you believe he received enough time in prison, but that was not Vick's decision.
As a Philadelphia Eagle, Vick has been used in the offense primarily in the so-called "Wildcat" offense. For the most part, he has not made a significant impact in Andy Reid's offense. He was 6 of 13 for 86 yards and one touchdown in 16 games. He rushed the ball 24 times for 95 yards for a rushing average of 4.0 yards per carry.
None of these numbers prove that he has returned to his pre-incarcerated form. In his first playoff game with the Eagles, he entered the game with the Eagles lagging on their own side of the field.
He was in his base "Wildcat" set and he looked to be running the off-tackle sweep to the left, to the Cowboys dismay, he stepped back, through a bullet to Jeremy Maclin near the Eagles sideline and he streaked down the field for 76-yard touchdown.
Is it possible that one throw could make that much of a difference to his impression among prospecting NFL teams about his ability. In my mind, yes.
Vick was never a precision-passer during the first six years of his career. His passer rating was about 75.9. He threw 71 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. He was known for his rushing ability.
In 2006, his last season prior to being indicted of supporting the dog-fighting ring, he ran for over 1,000 yards as a quarterback. He averaged 8.4 yards per carry and ran for 55 first downs.
Michael Vick is obviously not as evasive as he once was as a Falcon. He doesn't look like he has the ability run for 1,000 yards from the quarterback position anymore. But, just but, that throw to Maclin was fantastic.
Without any effort, he zipped a 20 yard bullet into Maclin right in stride and it led to the Eagles' only effective offensive play during at least the first 25 minutes.
If he has the ability to throw, if he has the ability to run somewhat like he used to, and if he has learned how manage an offense, than the next team to let Vick start as their quarterback could be in for a very fun ride.
It has to be taken with a lot of skepticism because Vick probably practices about five plays during a normal game-week. That does not make him a master of the offense. That does by no means make him the Pro-Bowl quarterback that he once was.
It does make him a very high commodity of the Philadelphia Eagles. Whether they decide to trade him or roll with him as their own quarterback, I think they have a lot of value with the rejuvenated Vick.
It seems like every NFL off-season about a dozen teams are looking for a new quarterback or at least wouldn't be opposed to a new face leading their offense. Some teams that make a lot of sense:
Denver Broncos (Current QB: Kyle Orton) Coach Josh McDaniels has shown that his ego may be bigger than what is wanted in the Mile High City. He just basically kicked Brandon Marshall out of town and the likelihood that he would take a chance on Vick is not very good. If McDaniels is fired like he should be, then it would be a good fit with Marshall in Denver.
Washington Redskins (Current QB: Jason Campbell) This could be the best spot for Vick with Mike Shanahan coaching the Redskins. If somehow the Eagles would let him go in the division than this is almost a perfect fit. Shanahan runs the West-Coast Offense, he runs a ton of play-action rollouts that would be ideal for Vick's talents. Wouldn't it be nice, D.C.?
Carolina Panthers (Current QB's: Delhomme/M. Moore) John Fox looks to have kept his job and Mike Vick might like to return close to home. It may be best for Vick to stay as far away from his adolescent influences, but could also be a new era of Panthers football if he would take the trek to the Carolinas.
Buffalo Bills (Current QB's: Edwards/Fitzpatrick) With Terrell Owens likely staying in Northern New York, if a team was willing to take a chance and a big move this off-season than the Bills might be that team. It's a safe city and they will be hiring a new head coach soon, that decision will be the most critical part of this move being an option.
Cleveland Browns (Current QB's: Quinn/D.Anderson) With Mike Holmgren in town this scenario has become more of a possibility. Eric Mangini is staying and that might be the only thing holding it back. It isn't impossible that he would take a chance with Vick after his lackluster career after leaving Capt. Hoody.
There are also other teams in the mix that could take a chance on letting Vick being their starting quarterback, but most of them have young quarterbacks or very high draft picks to address that need.
One thing is for sure, when Michael Vick gets his chance to start for an NFL team in the next couple seasons, he is going to make the most of his opportunity.
He looks to have a renewed vigor when it comes to his football savvy and in some cases that is one of the most needed aspects of a good quarterback. I am one of the biggest animal supporters I know, but I think the justice system did right, and he is cleared of wrongdoing at this point.
Hopefully he takes advantage of his second gift of life and gives us many great memories on the football field before all is said and done.