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No way out (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday July 18, 2007 1:03PM; Updated: Wednesday July 18, 2007 2:38PM
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While it's too early to know if any potential trial could impact Vick's 2007 season, it's not too early to realize the Falcons could rue the day they sent their potential 2008 starter to the Texans in exchange for second-round picks this year and next year, as well as flopping first-round picks with Houston in 2007 (from 10th to eighth).

If Vick is convicted and faces jail time in 2008 and beyond, the Falcons will wish they still had Schaub around. The same will be true if a league suspension ultimately is handed down, costing Vick a significant chunk of playing time.

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Joey Harrington, D.J. Shockley and Chris Redman. That's your current quarterback depth chart in Atlanta behind Vick. In this case, Schaub was an insurance policy the Falcons should have renewed, but didn't. That call is looking more short-sighted all the time.

• Why? That's the question that could be easily overlooked in Vick's current situation. Why would a guy making the millions he's making need to sponsor a dog-fighting ring that could jeopardize his career and personal freedom in order to gamble for mere thousands?

One source close to Vick, who I talked to this spring for the story I wrote about the Falcons quarterback's recent slide from grace in Atlanta, gave me a rather blunt rationale for Vick's involvement in dog fighting:

"He's not very bright at all,'' the source said of Vick. "And that's a big part of his problems. He's a very unintelligent person and he makes poor decisions because of it. It's not a white or black thing. Paris Hilton is an idiot, too. Mike Tyson was totally dumb, but for a long time his trainer kept him protected from his worst mistakes. You have to have someone around you who can protect you from yourself at times.''

Another league source I talked to had a slightly different take. He too watched Vick up close for years and came to this conclusion:

"I've seen what he's truly about, and now, the rest of the world sees what he's truly about,'' the source said. "He's not dumb, and he's not a bad guy. He's just selfish. He's an extremely selfish human being. He doesn't care about his team or his teammates. He says he does, but he doesn't.''

Harsh words to be sure. But these are some of the same sources who, more than two months ago, assured me Vick -- despite his proclamation of innocence -- was heavily involved in the dog-fighting operation in Virginia, from its earliest stages on. With Tuesday's indictments becoming public, the assessment of those sources has been echoed by federal investigators and a grand jury.

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