Falcons: Vick is our starter, not on trading block

ATLANTA -- Michael Vick will not be traded and will be the Atlanta Falcons' starting quarterback in 2007, the team's ownership said Tuesday.

Michael Vick Vick

"There are no plans to trade him or cut him," Kim Shreckengost, executive vice president of operations for Arthur M. Blank Group, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Michael is our quarterback and the leader of our team. We have a new head coach who is anxious to start working with him. Everyone has high expectations of him going into next season. Michael has those too."

Vick came under scrutiny when on Jan. 17, he attempted to bring a water bottle through airport security in Miami. Lab tests on the bottle, which contained a hidden compartment
that police suspected may have contained marijuana, later found no evidence of drugs.

Vick was never arrested or charged. but the incident was not well-received in Atlanta, where earlier this season he was fined for making an obscene gesture at fans after a home loss to the New Orleans Saints. In that instance, Vick apologized, paid a $10,000 fine and donated another $10,000 to charity.

After the airport incident, Vick sat down with Blank, new coach Bobby Petrino and general manager Rich McKay. McKay described Blank as being "upset" with the quarterback at the meeting and said Vick was told future incidents would not be tolerated.

While the team is committed to Vick as starter, there are financial reasons for keeping him as well. The Journal-Constitution reported that if the Falcons were to trade or cut Vick, they would take a hit of roughly $23 million against the $109 salary cap in 2007, probably forcing additional roster cuts and limiting the team's efforts to sign free agents and draft picks.

In 74 career NFL games, Vick has completed 930 of 1,730 passes for 11,505 yards and 71 touchdowns with 52 interceptions. He had career bests of 20 touchdown passes and 1,039 yards rushing in 2006.