MICHAEL VICK is not welcome in the Bay Area.
The NFL may have opened its doors to him again Monday, but that doesn't mean the Raiders and 49ers should.
This is more of an X's-and-O's stance than about what he did to those poor D-O-G-S, although the latter deed surely will create a public outcry wherever Vick fills out a W-4 form.
The Bay Area's woebegone franchises must resist whatever temptation Vick offers as an elusive playmaker. That assumes he still has those talents, last seen in 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons (unless you washed pans with him during his 18 months at Leavenworth federal prison).
Let another desperate region sign him — perhaps Jacksonville, St. Louis, Buffalo. If no NFL suitor surfaces, he can go to the believe-it-when-you-see-it United Football League, so long as its "San Francisco Rockfish" skip Vick and spare us that circus.
NFL commish Roger Goodell, presumably with the help of NASA scientists, unveiled his re-entry plan for Vick on Monday. Under that "conditional reinstatement," Vick can sign now, participate in training camp, play in the final two exhibition games and, if approved by the NFL's neighborhood-watch program, he can suit up by Week 6 of the regular season, perhaps even Week 1.
As pitiful as both the Raiders and 49ers have been in reeling off six consecutive losing seasons, they open training camp this week with a bounce in their step. They don't need Vick crashing their party.
The Raiders just should go about their 2009 mission: develop quarterback JaMarcus Russell, with Jeff Garcia (and not Vick) breathing down his neck. They should tinker with running back Darren McFadden in the trendy wildcat formation and realize Vick isn't needed there, either.
The Raiders' position Monday on Vick: "We haven't talked about it, and we've been removed from it," senior executive John Herrera said.
What, you wanted a "yea" or "nay" from him? Sorry, that has to be the company line when Al Davis runs the Surprise Moves 'R Us store. Still, it's hard to imagine Vick on a team whose chief executive, Amy Trask, sits on the board of directors for Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation.
OK, so Vick could look snazzy in the silver and black. He could add excitement to a weak offense (jobs earmarked for McFadden and rookie receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey). He could have a loyal fan base stick up for him against animal-rights protesters outside the Coliseum.
But he would not be worth it. The Raiders have gone the way of good-character players. They are trying to fix a once-toxic culture, which, honestly, still might not be in the best of shape for someone as volatile as Vick.
The 49ers don't plan on including Vick in their annual quarterback derby. They instead hope Shaun Hill or Alex Smith will command the huddle as Mike Singletary desires. Bringing in Vick to run gadget plays would go against Singletary's "physical-with-an-F" format. Bringing him in to backup Frank Gore at running back is intriguing but ... Vick would be new to that position, at 29 years old.
As for the 49ers' reaction to Vick's reinstatement, here's spokesman Bob Lange: "We have already said that we have no interest. Nothing has changed."
Phew. Hopefully Singletary got that memo. He had been noncommittal about Vick, but he seemed quite willing to coach/counsel him.
Instead of Singletary, Tony Dungy will serve as Vick's life coach. He visited Vick in prison nearly three months ago, and the NFL has asked for that relationship to blossom. (Side note: At what point will Dungy wish he still were coaching Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts?)
Vick, by the way, is nowhere near Manning's class as a quarterback. His arm was overly hyped in Atlanta. His legs were his greatest asset, but how are they now? His leadership capability is, gosh, absolutely shot after the whole dogfighting-ring scandal that derailed his career and life.
Does he deserve another shot at playing football for a living? Sure. Should that come in the NFL? That's up to 32 NFL owners. Should the 49ers and Raiders give him that shot? No.
Contact Cam Inman at firstname.lastname@example.org.