Does Vick fit in the AFC West?

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Now that the Atlanta Falcons have announced they are attempting to trade Michael Vick, it is time to try to figure out where he may end up.

Below is a look at how he'd fit in with each situation in the AFC West. Before we break it down, let's say that Vick's chances, if he plays in the NFL in 2009, of playing in the AFC West are not high. There is only one team, Kansas City, which may need a starter.

Because whatever team, if there is one, that decides to bring in Vick either through a trade or free agency, will likely face a firestorm of public scrutiny. It probably won't be worth it for a team to bring him in as a backup. It's likely the only team willing to deal with the criticism will be a team that badly needs a starting quarterback and finds that the positives of signing Vick to outweigh the publicity. So he may not fit in this division.

But let's take a look:


Starting quarterback: Jay Cutler

Chances: Very slim. The team wants to bring back backup Patrick Ramsey and the Broncos feel Cutler is a franchise player. Vick doesn't fit.

Kansas City

Starting quarterback: Up in the air

Chances: This is the one to watch in the division in 2009. The Chiefs have young Tyler Thigpen who played well in the second half of the season. But the team has new leadership and general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Todd Haley may want to pursue outside options either through free agency, trade or through the draft. Vick will likely be thrown on the list of available options but I'd be very surprised if he were to end up in Kansas City. Pioli comes from New England and doesn't seem like the type who would stake his reputation in his first season in Kansas City with a player like Vick. There are just too many options including Thigpen for Kansas City to pull the trigger on Vick.


Starting quarterback: JaMarcus Russell

Chances: If this was next year, this could be a possibility. But Russell is the Raiders quarterback for 2009. The team doesn't need a new quarterback. Now, if Russell continues to develop slowly and shows after this season that he is not capable of being a starting quarterback, the Raiders may be looking for a quarterback. If Vick is not traded and not reinstated until 2010 and Russell has a bad season in 2009, then maybe Vick would be a good fit. But the timing isn't right. Raiders' owner Al Davis has been quick to give players second chances over the years in the past. Vick, in the right circumstance, likely would be welcome in Oakland, but the timing isn't right.

San Diego

Starting quarterback: Philip Rivers

Chances: Remote. Behind Rivers is the qualified Billy Volek. The Chargers are set at quarterback and would likely not think about Vick for a second.