San Francisco 49ers general manager Scott McCloughan publicly stated Monday on Sirius NFL Radio that his team is not interested in going after suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick(notes). This is a good sign for Niners fans and a bad sign for Vick – the quarterback.
No thanks, Mike
The 49ers have been widely speculated as the No. 1 landing spot for Vick this offseason, and that talk began to heighten once Vick was released from federal prison. As mentioned above, McCloughan shot down the idea after admitting he sat down with head coach Mike Singletary and discussed the quarterback.
There are a couple of ways we can look at this from a football perspective.
Hill, left, and Smith during a Niners workout last month.
(Paul Sakuma/AP Photo)
For starters, the Niners seem satisfied that they can get solid production from the quarterback position out of either Shaun Hill(notes) or Alex Smith. Yes, I agree that those aren't two mainstream names in NFL circles, but the fact remains that Singletary and his staff have had almost an entire offseason to evaluate them and they must like what they see.
It would be easy for us to implore the Niners to take a chance on Vick and add some electricity to the position, but we aren't in the meeting rooms, and we don't fully understand what Singletary and his staff are looking for from their quarterback. They're seeing something in OTA practices that makes them want to watch Smith and Hill battle in training camp for the job.
By saying no to Vick, the organization is telling me that they have a grasp on the quarterback position. They're not ready to name a starter, but they do believe that either Smith or Hill will emerge as the No. 1 option by mid-August, and they can get on with their season and compete in the NFC West.
What now, Mike?
The other issue here is Vick himself – as a quarterback.
If we look around the league, I don't see a franchise in dire need of a quarterback heading into training camp, especially one who has missed the past two NFL seasons.
San Francisco seemed like a logical destination, and our own Michael Lombardi has heard that the St. Louis Rams have some interest, but the likelihood that Vick will walk into a training camp this summer as a quarterback is slim.
His best bet to return to NFL action is as an athlete – a player in the mold of Devin Hester(notes) in Chicago or Josh Cribbs in Cleveland, or in the same manner the Vikings plan to use rookie WR Percy Harvin(notes) in their offense.
In this regard, I believe there will be plenty of options for Vick, but teams must admit that he's not coming to camp to compete at quarterback. Instead, he's coming to compete for a roster spot, and to compete for playing time on offense in certain packages designed to get him the football.
The Niners have stated that they're closing the book on Vick, but that doesn't mean another team won't open it back up and use Vick as an offensive weapon. He still can be that type of player in the NFL.
We don't know what team is going to take a chance on Vick and dive head-first into a PR storm – but once commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates him, I expect him to find a home.
You just have to use him the right way.
Follow Bowen on Twitter: MattBowen41.
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