The free agency festivities are upon us. Come 4p.m. EST the scrambling begins for the 32 NFL teams to swoop up the cream of the free agency crop. The Raiders have huge holes to fill across the board and the biggest and definitely most glaring one is the quarterback position. The athletic, electrifying Michael Vick is on the shelf waiting to be taken by a new organization and will be ready to take his last opportunity to start in the NFL. The Raiders should jump at the chance to land this proven player.
Vick sits a top the free agent quarterbacks in 2014 and no one else is really even worth mentioning. He had some injuries this season that sidelined him but if it wasn’t for a record setting run by Nick Foles to end the Philadelphia Eagles season Vick would still be a starter. He is entering his 13th season and still has the arm and definitely the legs to make things difficult for opponents. There are six feasible teams that could use Vick’s services and many will take a long look at him.
The Raiders have to realize that their first pick must go to the most talented player available and that player will not be a quarterback. Therefore Vick is the best option for the Raiders. The Raiders have the money to make a serious offer to Vick and out bid other interested teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans or New York Jets. Other possible landing places include Buffalo or San Francisc but Vick is a competitor and will want to start or at least come into a camp with a solid shot at getting the first string job. Oakland will be a very enticing team on the financial side as well as on the depth chart.
Vick had two of the best seasons of his career in 2010 and 2011 with over 3,000 yards in each. The knock on him is obviously injuries and ball security but his talent is still top notch. In 2012 and 2013 his injuries kept him from regaining his success from his earlier time with the Eagles. His one-year $7.5 million deal ends today and he will likely take a two-year deal in the range of $6 million a year. That is slightly more than what Matt Cassel just took to stay in Minnesota (2 years $10 million). The Raiders can protect themselves by offering a contract worth a lot, but that includes incentives to reach the highest value. Thus, if Vick has injury problems and cannot play a full season, the Raiders may be able to save some money.
Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin are still completely unproven as far as starting in 2014. There is no telling which of the two will be back with the team by the time camp begins. Both players make under $700,000 a year and will still be motivated to win the job. Competition will fuel improvement however the situation plays out. Also the Raiders will have an opportunity to get a good quarterback in the draft after the first round.
If the Raiders play this off-season smart and gain valuable pieces on the offensive line the quarterback competition can be based on complete talent and not who can scramble the best. Vick can bring a spark to the Raiders quarterback position instantly. He would fit the Raiders’ offensive scheme from 2013 perfectly. The offense was very similar to that of the Eagles. If Pryor stays on he could learn exactly how to run a spread offense from Vick and mature with a true mentor on his team as Vick plays out the rest of his career
Vick can bring leadership to this team regardless of who would win the starting role. The Raiders could make a huge statement by bringing in Vick. Of course the remainder of his career is going to be two to three seasons tops but they could be exciting seasons in Oakland. His talent alone could propel this team into a playoff contender. The Raiders should grab him off the shelf quickly before another team comes along and gets a bargain.
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