COMMENTARY | The Cleveland Browns seem likely to pick up another quarterback this offseason.
Even though Brian Hoyer is still in the good graces of Cleveland's front office as he rehabs a torn ACL suffered last October, two other Browns quarterbacks that started games in 2013 are possibly on thin ice. Jason Campbell was inconsistent enough to wonder if he is worth bringing back for 2014, and Brandon Weeden threw away every opportunity he was given in his two years with the Browns.
The Browns own the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL draft and may choose to select a quarterback with that pick. If Cleveland decides to roll the dice with an experienced NFL quarterback, though, there is one intriguing player that the Browns may consider -- Michael Vick.
Vick is on the market after spending the last five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he rebuilt a career that had been all but destroyed by his involvement in a dog-fighting operation that landed him in federal prison in 2007. Vick is probably the best quarterback in the 2014 free-agent class, but the Browns would be foolish to take a chance on him this offseason.
These are three reasons why:
Vick Can't Stay Healthy
Campbell, Hoyer, and Weeden all missed games due to injury last season, making Cleveland's quarterback situation one of the most unstable in the NFL. Bringing Vick aboard could mean more of the same for the Browns in 2014.
Vick is one of the most dangerous running quarterbacks in the NFL, but his tendency to rush the football has cost him dearly numerous times throughout his career. Vick hasn't played in all 16 regular-season games since his final year with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006, and a hamstring injury last season paved the way for Nick Foles to take control of the starting job in Philadelphia.
Vick can still get it done on the ground, as evidenced by his average of 8.5 yards per rush with the Eagles in 2013. The problem is, Browns fans would have to hold their breath every time Vick carried the football, knowing his history.
Cleveland Doesn't Have The Right Personnel To Suit Vick
Never a phenomenal passer, Vick is at his best when he has a strong running game to lean on. Warrick Dunn had the best years of his career alongside Vick in Atlanta, and Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy has emerged as one the best running backs in the NFL in recent years.
The Browns would have to make some major upgrades to even get anywhere close to having the type of running game that is often the key to Vick's success. Cleveland's ground game was abysmal in 2013, as the Browns averaged a measly 86.4 rushing yards per game, with leading rusher Willis McGahee going for just 377 yards.
Fellow back Edwin Baker did show some signs of brilliance for the Browns in Cleveland's final three regular-season games, but it's far too soon to say if he will even be a factor for the Browns in 2014. Right now, there is no player with the potential of Dunn or McCoy on Cleveland's roster, so Vick would be a lonely man in the backfield with the Browns.
Adding Vick Would Just Lead To Another QB Controversy For The Browns
Vick is entering free agency with the goal of attaining a starting job with a team. Since that is the case, Cleveland should avoid him just because of the potential headaches his signing would cause down the road.
Hoyer became a darling of Cleveland's fanbase after going undefeated in his short stint as the Browns' starting quarterback last season. Relegating Hoyer to the bench to begin 2014 might be seen as a slap in the face to a quarterback coming off of a major injury that did nothing to lose his job, and would probably not go over too well with Browns fans who haven't exactly been enamored with Cleveland's front office of late.
The Browns would be better suited as this point to acquire a quarterback in the draft, give Hoyer the keys to the offense, and avoid the quarterback controversy that Vick would bring to a city that has seen way too many of them over the years.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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