Vick 49er Rumors Over

The San Francisco 49ers have decided to articulate with no ifs, ands, or buts -- they are not interested in acquiring quarterback Michael Vick when he's released from federal prison.

One day after all three of their big brain trust guys did non-committal verbal gymnastics on the topic at Monday's State of the Franchise speech, the team sicced a spokesperson on the Chronicle to put this one down for good. "The 49ers have no interest in Michael Vick," said the spokesperson.

The Michael Vick-to-San Francisco affair is a great example of the life cycle of an internet rumor.
This baby germinated in mid-January, when Singletary began interviewing replacements for Mike Martz. Dan Reeves had an interview, as did Ravens' quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson. Adam Shefter of observed that both had worked with Michael Vick, who happened to be eligible for release in July.

Never mind that both Reeves and Jackson were interviewing for the same position, ergo no chance of both being hired. The nexus was that the 49ers were interviewing Vick mentors, thereby facilitating Vick's smooth transition from federal prison to NFL training camp.

The 49ers, nailed with tampering charges and losing a draft pick last year, has become dysfunctionally terrified of making public statements regarding players under contract with other teams (Vick is still technically an Atlanta Falcon). Whenever asked about players, team brass instead describes the vacuum which is their personnel decision-making process.

This method of communication does not effectively tamper down five-alarm, red hot rumors.

But by ruling out Vick, what the 49ers are really saying is... get used to Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. Yes, the same two guys who got beat out last training camp by J.T. O'Sullivan. Get ready for the sequel, minus the guy who won at the end of the last one. On any other team, niether of these two would even be sure to make the roster.

So the 49ers have shut the book on Michael Vick. But on some deeper karmic level you realize that if he does come back , he should really come back wearing silver and black.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who was nailed with tampering charges and lost a draft pick last year.

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