Shutdown Corner - NFL

If this isn't a sign that we're fully stuck in the quagmire that is the NFL offseason, I don't know what is: Four of the last six posts are about guys who aren't currently or never were NFL players, and two of those are about a convicted dog-murderer.

I don't like it. You don't like it. But that's the reality in February.

My tag-team partner Chase mentioned San Francisco as a potential destination for Michael Vick once he's out of the pokey and reinstated into the NFL, and yesterday, Mike Singletary did nothing to take the 49ers off that list. Someone asked him about Vick, and he didn't give a quick and unequivocal "no."

"I'm not going to say I'm open or closed," Singletary said of the possibility of the 49ers acquiring Vick. "I'd say it has to be something 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.

"I think right now we really need to look at the two guys we have," Singletary added. "If everything works out with Alex and he's back, we need to look at that and go as far as we can go with that. The whole Michael Vick thing, we have to sit down and talk about that. But for right now, we have enough on our plates."

My e-mail inbox tells me that a lot of 49ers fans won't be happy with this. I got a ton of e-mails from fans who were offended (in a very personal way, evidently) that their favorite teams were even mentioned on the speculative list.

But that's wasted and pointless anger. Vick, at some point in the future, will play for someone in the NFL. It's something that's going to happen. And the team that signs him won't be on any lower moral ground that any other team in the league, because everyone's employed some criminals. Depending on your point of view, maybe even some worse than Vick.

To quote Cleo McDowell, "This is America, Jack." That means that once someone has paid their debt to society -- and before you suggest that Vick hasn't, why don't you try 23 months in Leavenworth and tell me how that works out for you -- they're free. They get to work again.

Whether it's the 49ers or someone else, if some team feels like they can use his services, they're free to offer him a paycheck, and they shouldn't be judged for it. It's the way America works, it's the way corporations work, and it's the way the NFL works.

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