- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TAKE YOUR PICK Should an NFL team sign Michael Vick if he’s reinstated?

Yes - Vick, at 29 and after serving 23 months on federal dogfighting charges, is not the same quarterback who wowed NFL crowds with the Atlanta Falcons. But it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to think Vick could do for the Wildcat formation what he did for the quarterback position. To do so, he’ll need to suppress his ego and accept a much lesser role than he’s accustomed to.

No - It’s hard to find a more image-conscious league than the NFL. After all, commissioner Roger Goodell has made his name for trying to “protect the shield.” With Vick will come a media firestorm and protestors at every game. Some fans will be outraged, and some sponsors will be tempted to bail. In the end, it may be more trouble than it’s worth for a quarterback who probably won’t be on the field for more than 20 plays a game.

Our take - The NFL is all about finding an edge, even if it’s only on one or two plays a game. Everyone saw what the Wildcat did for the Dolphins last year, helping them to an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance one season after going 1-15. If put in a similar situation, Vick could turn one or two contests, and that alone is enough to justify enduring the potential fallout and offering him an incentive-laced deal.

TWT FIVE TOP NFL EARNERS

Including endorsement money, according to Sports Illustrated:

1. Peyton Manning, Colts ($27 million) - Manning netted nearly $13 million in endorsements alone last season.

2. Tom Brady, Patriots ($18 million) - Brady’s $8 million salary is a little more than half of what the Colts pay Manning.

3. Matt Schaub, Texans ($17.3 million) - His inflated $17 million salary is mostly caused by a $10 million option bonus the Texans owe him before the Super Bowl.

4. Julius Peppers, Panthers ($16.9 million) - The defensive end wanted a long-term deal but got the franchise tag instead.

5. Dwight Freeney, Colts ($16.5 million) - Though Peppers will make more this year, Freeney is in the third year of a six-year, $72 million deal.

HE SAID WHAT?

“This was absolutely Watson’s Open, win or lose.” — Jack Nicklaus on Tom Watson’s performance in the 138th British Open

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