The Pittsburgh Steelers have all offseason to decide what their 2016 quarterback depth chart will look like behind starter Ben Roethlisberger. However, whatever it winds up looking like, veteran Mike Vick hopes that he’s included on it.
“I expressed if there is a way possible I would love to come back,” Vick said recently in an interview with steelers.com. “I love the team, I love the atmosphere. I feel like I could help.”
Vick started the 2015 regular season as the No. 2 quarterback on the team’s depth chart and after Roethlisberger went down injured with a sprained left MCL in the Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams, the former first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons was forced into extended action.
After going 19-of-26 for 124 yards and a touchdown in his first start in the Week 4 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Vick was 13-of-26 for 203 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Steelers last-second Monday night road win over the San Diego Chargers. In both of those games, however, he got away with several bad throws that probably should’ve been intercepted.
In Vick’s third start in the Week 6 home game against the Arizona Cardinals, he was a dismal 3-of-8 passing for 6 yards before leaving the contest early in the second half with a hamstring injury. After then-No. 3 quarterback Landry Jones led the team to a come from behind win over the Cardinals, Vick then found himself leapfrogged on the depth chart and thus failed to dress for a game the remainder of the season.
Come the start of the new league year, Vick will be an unrestricted free agent at 35 years of age. The same goes for veteran backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, whose 2015 season was wiped out by a shoulder and hand injury. Gradkowski, however, is only 32 years of age.
Should the Steelers wind up re-signing either Vick or Gradkowski during the offseason, such a transaction won’t take place until later on in the summer. Additionally, neither should expect to receive more than the league minimum from the Steelers.
While Jones is almost certain to be back in 2016, it’s not guaranteed he’ll be the backup to Roethlisberger as the team might decide to look outside for a younger, experienced quarterback to be their No. 2.
While I understand Vick wanting to return for at least one more season, I doubt the Steelers will want him back. In my opinion, he’ll more than likely still be looking for work come the start of the 2016 regular season. While Vick’s one year in Pittsburgh was probably memorable for him, he certainly didn’t play very well.
“I love the Steelers organization,” said Vick. “I love Coach Tomlin. I love the players I am around. I love my teammates. It was an awesome experience this year to compete throughout the playoffs. That’s what I came here for.”