Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy made headlines Sunday night by saying the Bills were a darkhorse candidate to obtain Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick next season. The news got a mixed reaction in the Bills' locker room on Monday.
Safety Donte Whitner gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to Vick coming to Buffalo. Whitner said there is no doubt in his mind that Vick can get back to the exciting player he used to be with a full offseason of conditioning and good coaching.
"If we had the opportunity to get Michael Vick and it came down to that, I believe yes [the Bills should make the deal],'' Whitner said. "I believe he's a great football player. I believe Michael Vick would be a good fit and I would encourage whoever to bring Michael Vick in.''
However, wide receiver Lee Evans expressed doubt that Vick would be a good fit with the Bills and doesn't see the team making such a move.
Quarterback Trent Edwards was indifferent about the whole thing, saying whatever the Bills did is out of his control. Whitner said if a guy isn't doing the job he should be replaced, which seemed to suggest (though not intentionally) that he thinks Vick might give the Bills a better chance to win than Edwards.
"If you're not getting the job done then they're going to bring in other players. That goes for myself and that goes for anybody in the National Football League,'' Whitner said. "I think it's more so a competition thing. I dont think you're downing anybody who is in that position. But you bring in other guys to help you win. I would welcome bringing in Michael Vick.''
Dungy indicated on NBC's Sunday night pre-game telecast that the Bills had conversations about Vick prior to his signing with the Eagles after serving 18 months in prison for his involvement in a dog fighting ring. Dungy has been Vick's adviser since his release.
Even if the Bills considered Vick I'm doubtful as to how serious the talks got because they were committed to Edwards and signing Vick would send the opposite message. But it wouldn't have hurt for Edwards to have someone like Vick to push him.
As for whether the Bills will go after Vick in the offseason, there are a couple of flaws in Dungy's thinking.
First, Vick is under contract for two years with the Eagles so they would either have to trade or release him. My guess is they signed him for the purposes of making a future trade.
Second and probably most important, we don't know who will be calling the personnel shots for the Bills in 2010. Head coach Dick Jauron is on shaky ground and will likely be gone if he has another losing season. There also could be a shakeup in the front office if the Bills don't show improvement during the second half of this season.
There is no guarantee that a new coach and/or general manager would have any interest in Vick.
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