Michael Vick…in a Bears uniform?

Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times likes the idea of the Bears possibly showing interest in Michael Vick once he gets done sporting an orange jumpsuit.

Michael VickBefore his hidden life became public knowledge, Vick was the most exciting player in the NFL and one of its most popular players, as well. The former No. 1 overall pick is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and took the Falcons to the playoffs twice. And while he wasn’t a great passer, his running ability made him a constant threat. Defenses had to respect him, and they did.

No, we don’t know what kind of shape he’ll be in after nearly two years in prison. But Vick always has been a remarkable athlete, and he’s only 28. Good quarterbacks are tough to develop and tough to find on the open market. The position has been a particular challenge for the Bears throughout franchise history. Not that I’m ruling Kyle Orton out of the picture, mind you. But Angelo has made his priorities clear. If nothing else, he wants to see competition at the position. Vick would do the trick.

Let’s assume he will leave federal prison rehabilitated in every way. Let’s assume he has learned the serious nature of his crimes and is repentant. Let’s assume he is drug-free. Let’s assume that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates him. Under these circumstances, is there any reason why the Bears shouldn’t be interested in him?

When considering Vick’s future, let’s not pretend the NFL is filled with perfect citizens. For every all-around good guy like Mike Brown, there’s another Plaxico Burress or Pacman Jones or Tank Johnson waiting to be found out. Vick deserves a chance to resume his career. There will be strings attached, of course. Morals clauses and counseling sessions and whatever else the league or a team might ask for to cover its risk. But in all likelihood, Vick will get another chance somewhere. Why not here?

Talent has never been the issue with Vick. But what Carol seems to forget is that Vick was a distraction before he was ever labeled a dog-fighter. He allegedly gave a woman the herp, he allegedly used a trick water bottle to hide marijuana, he gave the double-fingered salute to the Georgia Dome crowd…and then he was busted for killing innocent animals. (While traveling with Vick early in his career, one of his friends also stole a watch from an airport employee, which the Falcons successfully swept under the rug.)

And that’s just his off-field accomplishments. Let’s not forget that he has trouble hitting receivers — which the Bears don’t have, by the way — on a consistent basis, often carries the ball like a loaf of bread and has been labeled an athlete that would rather rely more on his God-given talent than his brain.

The Bears should pass; they’re better off with Kyle Orton. Unless prison has made him a new man (highly doubtful), than Vick’s more trouble than he’s worth for Chicago. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, but Vick was well past his second chance when the dog-fighting story came to light.

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