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Michael Vick, fresh from dogfighting prison sentence, signs with Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick

It's official: Michael Vick is back in football. The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, disgraced after the revelation of his involvement in the violent world of dogfighting, has signed a contract to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick's deal commits him to one year with the Eagles, for which he'll make $1.6 million, Fox Sports reports. The deal includes an option for a second year, for which he would make an additional $5.2 million. (We hope he plans to donate a chunk of that to animal causes, but hey, that's just us.) With the Eagles, he'll apparently serve as a backup for regular quarterback Donovan McNabb, and Fox Sports hints that the Eagles' willingness to take on the controversial player may have been influenced by an injury sustained earlier this week by McNabb's regular backup. 

Vick's prison sentence for dogfighting ended last month, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced his conditional reinstatement in the league a week later. Since then, Vick has made two appearances -- one in Atlanta and one in Chicago -- on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States. His alliance with the animal protection group, with which he'll work to combat dogfighting, was announced in May.

The significance of Vick moving to Philadelphia isn't lost on the Humane Society's president and chief executive, Wayne Pacelle. "It's a city we've been looking at very closely because it has a major dogfighting problem," Pacelle said in a phone interview today with our colleague Sam Farmer. "So Vick's landing there has the potential to turn around the issue. This gives us a big boost."

Many initially scoffed at the unlikely partnership between Vick and the Humane Society, guessing that Vick's willingness to participate in its anti-dogfighting efforts was calculated to regain favor with the NFL.  But at least one observer, David Squires of Newport News, Va.'s Daily Press newspaper, believes the fallen star has truly reformed.  His time in prison "made me become a better person," Vick told Squires in an interview. "Because of what I went through, it'll make me smarter about everything else now. Not just football."

According to the Associated Press, Vick expressed remorse for his involvement in the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring in a "60 Minutes" interview scheduled to air Sunday. In the interview, he says he feels "some tremendous hurt behind what happened," adding that "I should have took the initiative to stop it all ... I didn't -- I didn't step up. I wasn't leader." 

Here's hoping the remorse is genuine and that Vick can actually do some good in the war against dogfighting.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Vick in a 2006 Atlanta Falcons-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game.  Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

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Boooooooooooooooooooooo Vick!

Booooooooooooooooooooooooooo Philadelphia!

mmh quite interesting move by the Eagles

He should have gone with T.O but I am glad he is back, maybe now philly can get rid of Mcnabb.

THIS IS WHAT WE NEEDED FOR YEARS WE STILL LOVE U DON MC..GO EAGLES...

GO EAGLES...

I THINK SOMEONE LIKE MICHAEL VICK HAS A SERIOUS PERSONALITY
FLAW. THE EAGLES SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THERE OWN ORGANIZATION.

I am completely upset about this. I have been since hearing that the NFL was going to allow Vick to be a free agent. I was actually hoping that no team would hire him, but no such luck.

We won't be watching NFL football this fall. I don't normally get on board with boycotts, but this one... well, I just can't see watching a sport that would hire someone with a record like Vick's. It's NOT OK with me. If I had children (which I don't) I would be upset to have to explain why someone who did what he did to animals, would be allowed to "star" in the NFL and make millions!

I feel that Michael has paid the price for what he did and deserves a second chance. He made a mistake and now hopefully he has learned a lesson. I'm an animal lover and believe that there is no reason to ever cause an animal harm. Those people that are outraged at his being reinstated in the NFL should look at their own lives and like the Bible says He who is without sin cast the first stone. Good luck Michael and God be with you. Is this the worst thing that an NFL player has been convicted of? And how many of those players are still playing f00tball without any public outrage? He has a talent that should not be wasted. If God can forgive us countless time who are we to judge.

Ye who are without sin cast the first stone. Go Michael . Good luck and may God be with you.

Michael Vick is the worst kind of human being there is.
Who could do those things to dogs?
He will never change. He is a bum, a murderer.
I hope that Eagles' fans boo him, humiliate him and that he will fail.
Shame on the Eagles.

NO FOOTBALL IN THIS HOUSEHOLD UNTIL THIS MASS MURDERER IS GONE. HE IS A SERIAL KILLER....GOOD EXAMPLE NFL....

I think we have a much better chance of rehabilitating Vick's remaining dogs rescued by "Best Friends" than we do of rehabilitating anyone that can hang, drown, electrocute, shoot and laugh at the dogs as they suffer. Shame on the NFL, at least make him donate a portion of his millions to animal causes.

NFL is a disgrace for taking him back. It just shows you that it is sport that cares about money and not people or animals. If Michael Vick killed one person he would not get a second chance so why is it different with animals. People make it seem like he just committed a small crime and just get over it. He took many lives in many horrific ways. He DOES NOT DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE. How would you like it if he took one of your family members would you give him another chance. I think not.....

I think he should have stayed in prison longer than a year and a half. He had no need to do this at all. If he likes fighting so much, he should have went into boxing or something where he gets to fight himself!!!!!!!!!!!

How is it after all that he did he is going to make millions?? He's probably laughing at the law enforcement and NFL who actually wants him..

I wrote a lette to the humane society on their choice of using Vick as a role model. If you'd like to see the response I got back from them check out my blog: http://lizzyeyes.blogspot.com/2009/08/michael-vick.html


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