We must state first and foremost that we do not believe the Jacksonville Jaguars have any interest in Michael Vick, nor do we think they should. After thinking about it however, there is an angle that can be taken to make the case as to why interest in Michael Vick wouldn't be completely hypocritical to what general manager Gene Smith and the Jaguars have done all offseason.
We'll get the easy point out of the way first, the media attention. For the first time in a long time, the signing of Michael Vick would force national media outlets to flock to Jacksonville. The major sports networks would have journalists flock to the city, much like they do currently with Brett Favre, as they camp next to his tractor. There is an old adage that any press is good press, and this would hold true as Jacksonville's fans have been starved for national media attention. Signing Michael Vick would bring sustenance to that need.
Jacksonville could work the "good press" angle of giving Michael Vick, who's supposed to be a rehabilitated man after his 23 month jail sentence, which would be that second chance that America seems to love. Not to mention the fact that if he works out, what an amazing reclamation project story Jacksonville has on their hands. If Michael Vick did genuinely change and become a decent quarterback, Jacksonville might just have the NFL story of the decade on their hands. What's a better story than superstar, to jail, back to superstar? Not only could this spark national interest for the Jaguars, but it would be easy for the local fan base to get excited and rally around a story of a reclamation project, pushing even more ticket sales if it's successful.
The next angle you would have to look at would be the financial risk, or lack thereof. Michael Vick isn't going to command a lot of money in salary, he'll be lucky to get anything over the veteran minimum. Todd Bouman is the Jaguars backup quarterback, due to earn just under $1 million in salary. I'm sure Michael Vick, who's trying to pay back debt from his bankruptcy, would be more than happy to jump on a contract in the NFL in that similar range. Not only would this be a minimal risk financially, for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but would certainly factor in ticket sales. While many people, including the staff of JagNation, were disgusted with what Michael Vick was involved in, he's served his time. People in America are very forgiving, especially of their star athletes. If Michael Vick were signed, the first preseason game in Jacksonville would likely sell out. If you look at the economics of it, supposing the Jaguars paid Michael Vick nearly $1 million in salary, and the first preseason game sells out, that's nearly $1.2 million in just ticket sales revenue (roughly 30,000 seats at $39.50 a ticket and up) back to the Jaguars, already recouping the investment without taking into account additional parking and concessions revenue.
While Michael Vick wasn't a spectacular passer, there is no denying he was an electrifying playmaker. If Vick were brought to Jacksonville, it would be in a back up role behind David Garrard. With the new wildcat offense all the rage in the NFL, who would be a more perfect fit as a situation playmaker than Michael Vick? Not only could he be used in a wildcat role as a quarterback, but as a slot receiver, another running back out of the backfield, and quite possibly a kick returner. Vick is in no position to be selective about where he plays if he wants to get back into the NFL.
What happens if it blows up in the Jaguars face? Honestly, not much. The Jaguars still struggle to sell tickets. The Jaguars are still the butt end of jokes nationally. While there is some kind of risk, from this angle, the reward is potentially so much greater. Will it happen? Not at all.
Check out the new JagNation App for the iPhone. More information on iTunes or CLICK HERE