Michael Vick has been reinstated by the NFL, but not many teams are interested in him as a starting quarterback. Most teams have a good reason for passing.
But the speedy QB still has some value to teams looking for an athletic backup.
Dare we mention the Bears?
They're in need of a veteran backup.
If Vick's appearance at O'Hare Airport Tuesday night -- captured by the web site that apparently follows Vick around 24/7, TMZ -- is any indication, Vick could be meeting with the Bears about a potential spot. Or, of course, he could be in town for unrelated reasons; just because he's at the airport doesn't mean he'll be strapping the blue and orange anytime soon.
Oh, and the fact that Vick was in town to talk to grade schoolers at Liberation Christian Center about dog saftety as part of his dog fighting conviction and the Bears saying he wasn't here talking to them probably should put the kibosh on all the talk.
But don't let reason stop the rumor mill.
Would Vick be a good pick up? Does he still have the quicks? How much do the Bears need him really need him?
The answers are uncertain and negligible. After trading for All-Pro Jay Cutler, the Bears certainly don't need a starter. Cutler is twice as accurate as Vick with a stronger arm, and he can escape the pocket and move around just fine, thanks. The Bears are set at starter.
But Vick might come in handy is as a situational backup. The Bears have been running some Wildcat in training camp and Vick's speed and throwing ability would ostensibly allow the Bears to run the formation that the Dolphins used so effectively in 2008.
But even if Vick is cheap and readily available, and his off-field problems go away he's still a lightning rod that the Bears -- a so-called character team -- will want to stay away from. After all, we're hearing about his appearance at O'Hare because TMZ follows him around.
PETA protesters, reasonable as they always are, are sure to show up for plenty of Bears games this season. (Hopefully they don't visit the tailgating grounds. Bears Sundays are a veritable meat massacre.) Do the Bears want to pay that price for someone who hasn't thrown a football or run for a first down in two years?
Maybe so. But if Vick ends up a Bear don't say we didn't warn them.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.