Teams That Benefit Most From Adding Vick

Posted July 28th, 2009 at 6:56 am


As most everyone is surely aware by now, Michael Vick has been granted a conditional reinstatement to the NFL. Vick is allowed to take part in all practices, team meetings and workouts as well as play in the final two preseason games. However it may not be until week six that final clearance comes from Roger Goodell for Vick to play in a regular season game.

As Vick has immediately become a free agent expect him to be in the release day roster update for Madden 10 regardless of whether he has signed on with a team by then or not. Vick is arguably the most dominant player in Madden franchise history so interest around where he will go is high. Ratings are completely up in the air right now, though I would expect in the high 60s or low 70s overall. The overall will take a plunge not only because of his performance slide prior to his prison stint and then being out of football for two years, but also because of the additional QB ratings categories for Madden 10 that will weigh him down heavier than in the past iterations.

Right now it is difficult to peg a team that would take a chance on him given the negative attention it will bring on them. You can pretty much eliminate teams with first year coaches or those that have had prior experience with Vick. Teams that are image conscious would not go near him either. Then eliminate the teams that have no need for a starting QB…that is unless he willingly takes on the role of backup and being used occasionally in the Wildcat.

Given that it is pretty much impossible to guess where he’ll end up (it’ll probably be a team out of the blue like happened with T.O. and the Bills) there wouldn’t be much reason to write about the prospective destinations. I thought it would be interesting instead to look at what teams would most benefit from adding Vick just for the purpose of improving their team in Madden 10.

Starter Role

Buffalo Bills – In real life this would make for a great soap opera but in Madden it could possibly be the best fit for Vick. Right now Trent Edwards is rated 76 which is pretty mediocre. The Bills have strong offensive options at WR, TE, and RB but what is expected to be a down year for the offensive line. Vick’s mobility would come in handy if protection breaks down. Edwards is more of a leader for the team but that isn’t a necessary trait for Madden.

Carolina Panthers – Jake Delhomme, rated an 80, returns to the Panthers basically because there was just no one better out there. The team relies on the run game of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and the occasional big play from Steve Smith. Even a lower rated Vick would be an upgrade due to his mobility and arm strength. Accuracy however would be troubling and unreliable but that is a given wherever Vick ends up.

San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers have the worst QB situation in Madden. The highest rated is Shaun Hill at 69 and with Alex Smith at backup with a 67. In that offense, which is centered around Frank Gore and lacks big play receivers, it will be unlikely either QB will skyrocket in ratings this year. Vick would add a dynamic player on offense that would force the defense to rethink strategy. In Madden terms though RB (and former QB) Michael Robinson could possibly fill the same role with near the same effectiveness.

St. Louis Rams – Marc Bulger is decent at 78 but has been sliding down for a few years now. Combining the power running of Steven Jackson with the finesse of Vick in a dome is enticing. Outside of Donnie Avery the team lacks targets though for Vick, which includes what used to be his security blanket in a sure handed big TE. Randy McMichael and Joe Klopfenstein won’t worry many defenses.

Minnesota Vikings – Forgetting for a second that Brett Favre will likely sign in the coming days this would be a natural spot for Vick. With the potent running attack and speedy receivers the Vikings would become one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the game. Currently they sit with Sage Rosenfels as a 69 and Tavaris Jackson at 67. Again Jackson is someone that would be comparable to Vick so it probably wouldn’t be necessary. Regardless, look for Favre to sign on and have a low 80s overall that would trump what Vick comes in at. Update: Breaking news today that Favre is staying retired (as hesitant as I am to believe that). So I suppose this would make the Vick scenario make more sense.

Cleveland Browns – Going into this season with QBs rated 71 (Brady Quinn) and 70 (Derek Anderson) doesn’t provide for a great option at the position. Neither excels in a particular area that could be an advantage either. So adding Vick would bring in that dynamic offensive piece without even losing much if at all in the way of overall rating. At least Braylon Edwards drops would go down since he wouldn’t be able to get his hands on as many passes with Vick at the helm…

Denver Broncos – In what has been a tumultuous offseason for the Broncos why not just add some more chaos with Vick coming in at QB? It’s going to be a rough year anyway going with either Kyle Orton who is a 74 or Chris Simms sitting at 66. The Broncos zone blocking is ideal for a running QB but that wouldn’t make any difference in Madden. Vick would make the team more fun even though they’d remain one of the lowest rated in the game.

Backup/Wildcat Role

New England Patriots – This team is dangerous enough as it is with a 97 rated Tom Brady, 96 rated Randy Moss and Wes Welker even at 91. Throw in Vick to run the Wilcat and good luck keying in on any aspect of the offense. The weakness of the team though is at RB. Fred Taylor may not be properly suited to be the RB in the formation. Regardless adding Vick would provide an unquestionable upgrade at backup QB. Right now the Pats have only 41 rated Kevin O’Connell on the bench. That is the worst second string QB in the game. If Brady goes down even with those receivers it would be nearly impossible to win consistently.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Depending on where you stand on David Garrard (78) the Jags could also reside in the potential starter column for Vick. This is a team that does not have firepower on offense and could use an injection. Whether that be replacing Garrard or providing the backup/Wildcat ability is a good question. Right now the backup is Cleo Lemon and he is only a 47.

Indianapolis Colts – Similar to how the Pats could use Vick to supplement their offense so could the Colts. Now they don’t have as dire a need at backup to Peyton Manning (99) as at least Curtis Painter is a 62 but having Vick for the Wildcat would add a new wrinkle to a potent offense.

Washington Redskins – Another team that could be in the starter column given the way the organization has treated the QB situation over the offseason. The Skins are okay at QB with Jason Campbell at 77 but again Vick could fit in on the roster. Whether that would be starting over Campbell or not would probably be dependent on the user’s style. Chris Cooley would be that TE in the Alge Crumpler role that would be perfect for Vick if he were on team.

Cincinnati Bengals – They’re set at starting QB with Carson Palmer an 88 and alright but not great at backup with J.T. O’Sullivan being a 60. But the team has lost some of its offensive flare from the past years. Outside of Ocho Cinco they could use another big play guy and Vick could do that out of the Wildcat.

Chicago Bears – Originally I wasn’t going to put the Bears on this list given that they have someone who could run the Wildcat in Devin Hester. However looking at Caleb Haney being the backup to Jay Cutler (87) and rated only 45 Vick would be a clear upgrade there.