The Packers aren’t ruling out Michael Vick.
Asked whether Green Bay might be interested in the scandal-tainted quarterback, general manager Ted Thompson didn’t rule it out Tuesday.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Packers are in hot pursuit of Vick. Thompson is notoriously coy about the team’s plans, so it wasn’t immediately clear whether his comments indicated a sincere and significant level of interest.
“What is the answer that we give to questions like this? We’re always looking to improve our team,” Thompson said. “We look at all options at all times. I wouldn’t care to speculate in terms of the odds or the percentages (of signing Vick) or anything like that.”
But they’ve at least discussed Vick internally?
“We look at everything,” Thompson said.
Thompson acknowledged that the Vick situation was unique, but said that didn’t change the process the team uses to evaluate players.
“The routine that we go through is the same,” Thompson said. “It doesn’t mean any more that we are likely to do it or less likely. It’s a routine that we go through. It’s automatic.”
Vick has been conditionally reinstated in the NFL after completing a 23-month federal sentence for running a dogfighting ring. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said Vick can sign with a team and begin playing by week six of the NFL season.
More than two dozen NFL teams have said they’re not interested in signing the 29-year-old Vick. The others have declined comment or taken a stance like that of the Packers.
While it’s hard to imagine the Packers inviting another major distraction to training camp after enduring the circus-like atmosphere of last summer’s Brett Favre unretirement saga, the case could be made that Vick would be a valuable asset.
Green Bay has a highly regarded young starting quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, but has a pair of inexperienced second-year players, Matt Flynn and Brian Brohm, backing him up. Vick could bring experience to the position if there is an injury to Rodgers, who played through a significant shoulder injury to start all 16 games last season.
And while the Packers haven’t used the so-called “wildcat” formation, Vick’s running ability could add a scoring threat to their backfield.
Vick had one of his biggest career moments in Lambeau Field, leading the Atlanta Falcons to a 27-7 playoff upset of the Packers in a wild card game on Jan. 4, 2003.
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