Why the Rams shouldn't trade for Mike Vick
Written by Curt Popejoy on 02/11/2010
I have had two great opportunities in the past month to talk on St. Louis sport talk radio about their draft situation. The prevailing attitude I get is, the city thinks that they have to draft Ndamukong Suh, but there is a growing swell after seeing how this year's playoffs played out that the Rams have to upgrade their quarterback position if they want to win. Note to all bad NFL teams. You must have a QB who not only takes care of the offense, but a quarterback that can take control of a game.
So, what are the Rams thinking about doing to correct this? Trade for Mike Vick. I'm not going to get into Vick's legal past because it has no place here. What I am here to talk about is what Vick can do for this team and trust me it's not a good thing.
I completely understand the mentality of bringing in a veteran presence under center. But from a skillset point of view, Mike Vick is not a player that will ever take a team to the Super Bowl and I'm honestly not sure if he's got enough left in the tank to take a team like the Rams to the playoffs. So, why would the Rams do this? Because he's a bandaid. Granted a bandaid on a broken neck, but a bandaid nonetheless. I've gotten so many emails from readers and listeners telling me that the Rams should trade for Vick, draft Suh, and then next year they can draft Ryan Mallett or Jack Locker in the first round. This is based on two things. First the perception that Mallett and Locker are both better options than Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen, the top two quarterbacks in this draft. That is up for some debate, but as of now, I'd put Bradford and Clausen as comfortable clubhouse leaders. The second premise and the one where Rams fans have it all wrong is that they will be in a position to draft either of those guys next year. As DJ Lance Rocks says, "lets' do it, break it down."
If the Rams trade for Vick, while he's not a Brett Favre type of addition he will improve the offense even if only situationally, and take some heat off Steven Jackson. They will be able to move the ball better, score a few more points and take some heat off the defense. Speaking of defense, adding Suh should almost certainly improve the defense. Assuming Adam Carriker comes back healthy, that will give the Rams 3 high first round picks starting on that line. Time to nut up or shut up.
I know you all are asking yourself, "so where's the downside Curt?". The downside is, you still aren't a Super Bowl team. What you are is a 6 or 7 win team. And in next year's draft 6 or 7 wins mean you pick around 9 or 10, and don't kid yourself. That doesn't assure you one of the top 2 quarterbacks.
Basically what the Rams are doing is taking a very calculated risk and one that I'm not sure is fair to fans. They are counting on Vick bringing in fans (and he will), and they are counting on making the team better (and he will), and of course they are counting on Suh being the next Warren Sapp (he might). But they are also counting on being bad enough they can draft their franchise QB next year, because there can be no one in the Rams front office who thinks Vick is the longterm solution.
Rams fans, your team passed on Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco to draft Chris Long when the need was there. Last year, they passed on Mark Sanchez to draft Jason Smith. Are you ready for another year of this? You are in a division that is wide open next year with the retirement of Kurt Warner. The entire division is in a state of flux. The Niners still need a quarterback, and the Seahawks are going to make some huge transitions with a new head coach and front office. The Rams have talent, but while Mike Vick might make the team 4 or 5 wins better, a franchise QB could be the answer long term. It's simply a value judgement and one to this point the Rams have been unable to make. For me, the value right now is to find a buyer for that top pick, let someone go up and get Suh, slide back a couple of picks, and draft Clausen. You might not be a Super Bowl team next year, but that's no different if you draft Suh and trade for Vick.
I really want the Rams to be better next season. They have a buyer, and it looks like he's going to do everything in his power to keep the team in St. Louis which will mean big stadium renovations. There has never been a better time for the Rams to bring in a player like Clausen and fire up the fanbase. The more I watch of Clausen the more I like him and the higher I rank him. At some point, I hope the Rams FO realize just how important this decision is and makes the right one.
Last Edited: 02/11/2010