Evaluating Schaub deal (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday March 21, 2007 4:15PM; Updated: Wednesday March 21, 2007 6:03PM
What it means to Atlanta
By trading Schaub to Houston this year, the Falcons made the decision to get something in return now for their talented backup, rather than run the risk of him leaving via unrestricted free agency next spring and bringing nothing in exchange. That was the smart move for the long term if new head coach Bobby Petrino can resurrect the flagging fortunes of starting quarterback Michael Vick, whose struggles both on and off the field in the past two years have been well chronicled.
But the Schaub trade could look short-sighted in the near future if Vick doesn't turn things around and Atlanta finds itself facing its own starting quarterback decision in early 2008. Will the Falcons some day regret letting go of the guy who would have made a ready-made successor to No. 7?
For now, the Falcons have re-affirmed their commitment to Vick, and will stake their 2007 season around the offense balance that Petrino promises to bring to Atlanta. In Schaub, the Falcons had a prized insurance policy behind Vick for the past three years. But that is no longer the case. Atlanta will be in the market for a backup quarterback, and ex-Bengal, ex-Raven Anthony Wright is reportedly on its radar.
Petrino has said all the right things about Vick thus far, and the two have apparently meshed well in the formative months of their relationship. Then again, so did Vick and ex-Falcons head coach Jim Mora once upon a time. If there is a bottom-line reality to the trade of Schaub, it's that the Falcons remain Vick's team, and Petrino is firmly in his quarterback's corner. At least for 2007.