NFL: More teams say no to Vick
The rejection notices for Michael Vick came from Lovie Smith, Jeff Fisher and Tom Cable on Thursday.
But Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t saying whether his team is interested in the quarterback.
As the Chicago Bears began training camp, Smith said Vick deserves another opportunity in the NFL. The coach just doesn’t see it happening with the Bears even though they lack an experienced backup.
The former Atlanta Falcons star, who served 18 months for running a dogfighting ring, said Thursday he is getting close to signing with a pro football team. Vick was conditionally reinstated Monday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I think Mike deserves a second chance, like everyone in society who has paid their debt to society,” Smith said. “He deserves a second chance. As far as we’re concerned, we like this team that we have right now.”
The Titans, coming off the best record in the 2008 season, also like what they have.
“I’m pleased with our quarterback situation,” Fisher said.
Would he be opposed to signing Vick if the Titans needed help?
“I’d have to cross that bridge when you come to it,” Fisher added, saying Vick should be considered a quarterback, not a receiver or running back.
“Michael Vick’s a quarterback. He proved that early in his career.”
Cable’s Raiders have JaMarcus Russell, the first pick in the 2007 draft, and veteran Jeff Garcia.
“We like who we have, so let’s move forward,” Oakland’s coach said. “We haven’t had that discussion because it’s not relevant to what we’re trying to do and who we have.”
The Lions, who used the top overall choice in April on Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, also are passing on Vick.
“With what we’ve done at quarterback, we’ve invested a lot at the quarterback position, as you know,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “There’s a first-round pick (Matthew Stafford), a second-round pick (Drew Stanton), we have (Daunte) Culpepper looking good and coming back. So I think, from that standpoint, we’ve invested a (lot) at that position.”
One day after Brad Childress shut the door on Brett Favre, he did the same to Vick, saying the Vikings don’t plan on pursuing him.
“I would just say that the guys that we’ve got we are going to fashion the team around and go forward that way,” Childress said. “I don’t know how many different ways I can say that, but it is going to be Sage (Rosenfels) and Tarvaris (Jackson), and we’ll see how J.D. Booty factors in.
“We’re going to go with the three guys we have.”
After New England’s first practice of training camp, Belichick was asked about Vick’s possible return to the NFL. He praised Vick’s athleticism, but left it at that.
“Michael is an outstanding player, hasn’t played in a couple of years,” Belichick said. “But right now, our focus is on our team and our players and trying to get the New England Patriots ready and so that’s really where my attention’s been. But he’s a tremendous athlete. Where exactly he is right now, I don’t know.”
Matt Schaub, who spent three seasons as Vick’s backup in Atlanta and now is Houston’s starter, is excited about Vick getting another chance.
Schaub said whoever signs Vick will be getting “a heck of an athlete and a guy that can help their football team.”
The Texans, who also have Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman, have previously said they aren’t interested in Vick.
Some theories have had the Seahawks’ Jim Mora, who coached Vick in Atlanta, as a likely suitor. But a team spokesman said Seattle has no interest in Vick.
AP Sports Writers Josh Dubow in Napa, Calif., Kristie Rieken in Houston, Andrew Seligman in Bourbonnais, Ill., Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn., Gregg Bell in Seattle, and Jon Kraczynski in Mankato, Minn., contributed to this report.