Michael Vick flew into Chicago Tuesday, but the Bears say that the disgraced quarterback's trip has nothing to do with them.
TMZ's omnipresent cameras spotted the former Atlanta Falcons star at O'Hare Tuesday. The footage set off a flurry of speculation that Vick, who was reinstated by the NFL last month after serving 18 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring, was in town to meet with the Bears.
The Bears starting quarterback is set with Jay Cutler, though they don't have a proven backup. But a team spokesman threw cold water on the Vick speculation Wednesday, saying his visit has nothing to do with the team.
USA Today reports that Vick "was scheduled to go to Chicago at some point to talk to the Humane Society of the United States."
But would Vick be a worthwhile pickup for the Bears? NBC Chicago's Eamonn Brennan weighs the pros and cons:
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.