Now Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says there's a good chance all of that could have happened just down the road.
Tomlin was seriously interested in bringing Vick to the Steelers as a backup quarterback after he finished his jail sentence in 2009, Ed Bouchette of the Pittburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Tomlin was familiar with Vick through his connections with Tony Dungy, who was Vick's mentor and Tomlin's former coaching colleague, as well as having seen Vick play with the Falcons when Tomlin was on the coaching staff in Tampa Bay.
But a few fates conspired to send Vick elsewhere — one good, one bad.
On the good note, the Steelers were coming off a Super Bowl victory, and the Rooney family, which owns the team, didn't see the need to attract a lot of negative attention, Bouchette reports.
On the bad news front, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was dealing with a mess off the field, where he had attracted a lawsuit in the offseason from a woman claiming rape in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
Tomlin, looking to respect Roethlisberger and keep him from the pressure of having another high-caliber quarterback on the team, went along with the Rooneys' preference and nixed the idea of bringing in Vick.
Roethlisberger has since settled back into his elite form in Pittsburgh, while Vick has had a rollercoaster of success and disappointment in Philadelphia.
This week, Pennsylvania fans can play "what if?" as the two face off at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.