THE GRAPEVINE: Vick back in ’09? Boller a Jet?

Flashback Friday THE GRAPEVINE: Vick back in ’09? Boller a Jet?

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It looks like Mike Vick will be available during the ’09 season to some team that wants to check their moral consciousness at the door in exchange for some fleeting hope that a gifted athlete can positively impact their team’s fortunes. Talk about selling your soul!

But really, what team will take the risk and the accompanying public relations nightmare with Vick? The knee jerk response by most when asked that question is the Oakland Raiders. 

And that begs the question (at least in my mind), “Why?”

Vick wants to be a quarterback (although admittedly he has little say in the matter if he wants back in) and say what you want about his athletic prowess but as an NFL signal caller, he is at best average. Plus there are 30 million reasons why Al Davis shouldn’t bother with Vick – the money invested in JaMarcus Russell.

So if the Raiders pass, who else is out there that might take a flyer on Vick?

Two teams that could consider the former Falcon, both with ties to the Ravens, are the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers.

Of those two, the Jets would appear to be the least likely candidate but I must admit the hell raising, rebel-like bloodlines of Rex Ryan may evoke flashbacks of his pop Buddy and Randall Cunningham. But that would likely be just a fleeting thought for the Jets new head coach despite his need for a quarterback.

And that brings me to Mike Singletary and the 49ers. 

Singletary is that strong motivational leader who just might be attracted to the prospects of Vick. He has sort of an evangelical approach to coaching and he could spin the acquisition in a way that might be acceptable to the 49ers’ fan base. It’s a dangerous move with exaggerated swings of potential upside and downside but of all the coaches in the NFL, Singletary could be Vick’s best bet.

But first, he should be forced to do community service at your local area PetSmart…

These NFL power rankings in February for the ’09 season are a joke.  Talk about content filler for websites and newspapers…

Kyle Boller’s name has been linked to the New York Jets as a possible solution for their job opening at quarterback.  Sorry but I just don’t see it. Haven’t Rex Ryan and Jets new quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh seen enough of Boller already? And could you see the New York media with Boller? Not exactly a match made in heaven. 

Many will say that Boller has all the tools to be successful and what he really needs is a change of scenery. That might be half right – a change of scenery could do Boller some good if the fit is right but let’s not be overly gratuitous with Boller’s skills. On the good side, he’s a great teammate who exhibits toughness and he has a decent amount of game experience.  On the downside, he’s erratic, can’t throw deep passes accurately while not on his knees, has very little huddle presence and he reacts to pressure the way a vampire responds to sunlight.

Boller could have a long career in the NFL if he willingly embraces the role of a back up.  And why not do that in Baltimore, a place he’s familiar with and a team that has fundamentally sound coaches in Cam Cameron and Hue Jackson? The fit seems about right for Boller but clearly he’ll have to take a haircut on that $3 million salary if he wants to stay.

Ok so let me get this straight…the commissioner of a sport that the youth of this country labels as “boring”; a sport whose games are way too long and arguably the season as well; a sport that is so unbalanced and is severely contaminated by steroid allegations and abuse – that guy, that commissioner, Bud Selig gets a raise to$18.3 million annually?

On the heels of that raise, Mr. Selig makes asinine statements about suspending a player for what he did years ago (Alex Rodriquez) meanwhile, there are over 100 other players who also reportedly tested positive for steroids yet their names won’t be released.  Oh and for good measure Selig has threatened to restore Hank Aaron’s home run record – the same Hank Aaron who is chummy with The Commish from their mutual Milwaukee ties.

I guess incompetency has its rewards…

Now in the NFL, they are a little smarter.  You see Roger Goodell, exhibiting some sensitivity to the economic woes of our nation has decided to freeze his salary for 2009 and to take cuts in eligible bonuses that could add up to over $2 million according to most reports.

Comparatively speaking, Goodell ranks second in compensation among the commissioners of the major professional sports.  Obviously Selig ranks first (a salary on steroids if you ask me).  According to SportsBusiness Journal, Goodell is followed by the NBA’s David Stern (an estimated $10 million), the NHL’s Gary Bettman ($5.59 million) and the PGA Tour’s Tim Finchem ($4.8 million).

Nice PR move there Roger, relatively speaking but I really want to know is how you can possibly live now on that frozen $11 million salary for 2009?

And these owners have the stones to increase ticket prices…
Photo by Sabina Moran

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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