As reports have surfaced that Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson is trying to get the Minnesota Vikings to sign free agent QB Michael Vick, it brings up an important question: could it work?
In the short term, it could. Even though he will be 34 by the time this season starts, Vick could instantly make the Vikings a better team with his speed and play making ability. While his proficiency to turn the ball over is well documented, it couldn’t be any worse than the turnover proficiency of the Vikings’ current quarterback tandem.
Last year, Minnesota’s quarterback tandem of Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel combined for 23 turnovers. Even with his tendency to fumble the ball often, Vick wouldn’t surpass that many turnovers in a single season, especially since he would be handing the ball to Peterson often. Even if turnovers were equal, Vick brings a playmaking ability that Ponder and Cassel can’t come close to providing.
This isn’t to say that Vick will solve all of the Vikings’ problems, but he could be an effective piece for a year or two. By signing Vick now and starting him for the next year, maybe two, the Vikings can focus on defense in the draft. While there is an abundance of quarterback talent in this draft, it has been noted that the Vikings would like to trade down in the draft. If that’s the case, they could sign Vick and then trade down and stockpile defensive players.
The Minnesota secondary hasn’t been good in quite some time, their linebackers are aging and they are likely to lose Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen to free agency. With all of that being said, they need to go after defense early and often in the draft and signing Vick in free agency would aid in them being able to do that. They would then be able to trade down and add more quality defensive players to their roster.
There’s no doubt that Vick isn’t the quarterback the Vikings want for the future, but he could keep them relevant in 2014 and possibly 2015 while the team rebuilds the defense and looks for his replacement. The move would make the quarterback situation less urgent and they could take an entire season to look at college’s best quarterbacks who will be entering the 2015 draft.
With his impact on the field, Vick could make the Vikings competitive this season as long as they patch up holes on the defense. The roster flexibility that he would provide going into the draft would have a lasting positive impact on the organization.