Only in CFL or Arena

The Baltimore Sun

I agree that Michael Vick will play pro football again - it's just that he'll be doing it in Canada with its wide-open style, or in the Arena Football League, where some club might be desperate to sell tickets.

This is not to say that Vick doesn't deserve another chance to play in the NFL. That's not for me to judge one way or the other. But there's just too much working against it.

For starters, it is difficult to say when exactly Vick will be eligible to play in the league again.

His guilty plea in Virginia yesterday on dogfighting-related state charges helps clear the way for an early release from federal prison, perhaps to a halfway house, according to reports. However, even if Vick is released next summer, there's no guarantee that his NFL suspension would be lifted.

If that's the case, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback will be out of action until 2010.

So by the time Vick goes around the league handing out his resume, there's a good chance he will have been out of football for three years. Just the fact that he'd be 30 years old (by training camp in 2010) with three years of rust would scare off many teams.

And if that doesn't do it, the threat of the noisy public relations fallout from signing him should be enough to chase off anyone who thinks he might have some game left.

Obviously, Vick will try to land a roster spot as a backup and he'll probably be inexpensive. But a team decision-maker will be faced with taking on an enormous distraction and incurring certain fan backlash for a player who figures to be a reserve and whose skill sets might have eroded. Even at a bargain salary, the price will still be too high.

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