In a league where "having a plan at quarterback" fuels the perception of front-office competency from the owner's suite to the nosebleeds, signing Michael Vick, age 33, doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Adding Vick isn't strapping on a parachute -- he's the reason you wear one. And again, perception matters:
• Call him your starter and history shows he's been around for 13 NFL seasons, played in 11 of them and started 16 games exactly once.
• Call him your backup and get ready to face uncomfortable news conferences every time your young QB has a bad game.
Adding Vick isn't a plan, you could argue; adding him is an admission your plan failed.
But for some teams with a young quarterback or a plan to draft one, and ones that care more about improvement than some idea of what it's supposed to look like, not only could Vick upgrade the pre-draft QB situation the moment he signs -- colleague Ashley Fox looked into this recently -- he could also be a sensible bridge to a young QB drafted early, or even the backup to one. Let's look at the reasons why, and the possible fits.
Winning was never the big issue: Vick's value to an organization is rightfully diminished based on his long record of injuries. The former No. 1 pick has always been tricky to prepare for, but as one NFC evaluator told me this week, part of what's hard about making a game plan for Vick is "you better be ready for his backup too." Any knock on Vick regarding durability based on both style of play as a QB who likes to run or as a player whose frame isn't built for regular hits has been proved accurate.