Free agent quarterback Michael Vick will pay a visit to the New York Jets this weekend, reports suggested on Wednesday. Vick is the top quarterback on the market, with the most experience as a starter and the best track record on the field. But that's not really saying much. Teams aren't looking to free agency for franchise quarterbacks, and this year's draft class seems particularly solid, so someone such as Vick likely hasn't seen as much interest as he'd like.
It's unclear just how much interest he's seen, regardless. This is the first report of him making a free agent visit, though it's easy to imagine it being his last given the way the Jets are built at this point. New York is in need of someone to either push Geno Smith out of the starting job or someone to motivate him into improving enough to hang on to said job.
As a rookie last season, Smith was particularly poor, with just 12 touchdowns against 21 interceptions. He was rushed into his starting job, to be fair, but there are many out there who believe he doesn't have what it takes to be a franchise quarterback. Vick struggled last year, but if not for Nick Foles shocking everyone and breaking out, Vick would likely be a starter right now with the Eagles.
Seeing as how this is his first visit of the offseason, he could spend time with more teams in the near future. But for now, the Jets are the team interested and he seems a good fit there. Vick wants an opportunity to start, but if he can't get it, a return to Philadelphia might be possible, as noted at Bleeding Green Nation:
Vick has maintained all offseason that he didn't want to return as the backup QB. But if there are no starting jobs available for Vick on the open market, his best bet could be to return to Philly. While the Eagles hardly seem desperate to have him back, but it does seem like a return hasn't been ruled out entirely.
As I wrote earlier in the week, how the Eagles address the backup QB situation this offseason really depends on how comfortable they feel with second-year player Matt Barkley. Barkley struggled mightily as a rookie but the team seems to remain high on him.
Here's what else you might have missed from Wednesday in the NFL:
It's the offseason, which means the NFL Competition Committee will meet and discuss potential rule changes for the upcoming season. This year, there's some interesting rules on the table. One, proposed by the Washington Redskins, would potentially bring kickoffs to the 40-yard line as opposed to the 35-yard line, where it was moved to in 2011. That would all-but eliminate kickoffs from the game as it stands, as any kicker out there can kick a touchback from that distance.
But other rules on the table aren't such a drag, such as the proposed rule that would allow personal foul penalties to be reviewable. That's good given that the referees have been generally terrible at keeping up with the speed of the game, with multiple penalties levied that shouldn't have last year. Former San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner is a good example of those -- he was given multiple fouls for helmet-to-helmet contact and did not receive a single fine, as the NFL determined he should not have been penalized after the fact.
Multiple schools held their pro days on Wednesday, but Central Florida's drew the most attention. That's because quarterback Blake Bortles was in action. Bortles is one of the top quarterbacks coming out this year, with many placing him firmly at the top, above Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville. Unlike Bridgewater, who had a poor pro day on Monday, Bortles was generally impressive. He didn't blow anyone away, but he performed as well as he needed to given the circumstances.
There are trade rumors surrounding Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. It's an odd situation given that Jackson is such a good player coming off a career year, but he does have a high cap hit. Many have wondered if there's more going on behind the scenes, but that's all speculation at this point. One report came out on Wednesday, however, that said head coach Chip Kelly assured Jackson that he was not going to be traded this offseason. This comes a day after reports that suggested the Eagles were listening to trade offers, with teams such as the 49ers and New England Patriots named as being interested.
The Tennessee Titans released kicker Rob Bironas on Wednesday. Bironas was due a roster bonus of $250,000 later this week, and the team elected to purge his contract. He's been very good throughout his career, but did have a drop in production last season, specifically in kickoffs, and the team wants to get younger at the position. Bironas should be able to catch on with another team this offseason, as his production has not dwindled too much.
The St. Louis Rams are reportedly shopping that No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. St. Louis acquired the pick from the Washington Redskins, but as they are still rebuilding, would like to get multiple early selections as opposed to one at No. 2. They're likely looking out for a quarterback early on this year, but can likely get their man a few picks later and could stand to move down a few spots for a team looking to capitalize on whatever great player is left after the Houston Texans pick at No. 1. Trades this high up in the draft are easier to do these days thanks to the rookie wage scale.