Michael Vick has had numerous incidents of poor behavior in his past. His reputation has been damaged by more than just the dog fighting crime which landed him in prison. But he has not lowered himself to the point where he no longer deserves forgiveness.
Vick has paid his debt to society and should be given another chance to play in the NFL.
What Vick did, bank-rolling and participating in a dog fighting ring nearly two years ago, was ignorant and appalling. His previous actions of flipping off fans and poorly representing his team showed undeniable signs of immaturity.
Yet, I imagine serving 23 months in prison has its way of humbling people.
Vick no longer is standing on a pedestal so high he cannot see the bottom. Instead, he is at the bottom, looking up at where he once was.
Sometimes it just takes a reality check and a chip being placed on an athlete’s shoulder to restore their career. Vick has been given both. Now, all he needs is someone to give him an opportunity.
Signing Vick at this point would only be a risk from a public relations standpoint. He is in no position to demand money of any significance, and could be cut at the first sign of trouble. Bringing him in would not create a quarterback controversy because nobody, including Vick himself, expects him to be in contention for a starting job this season.
At the age of 28, Vick is still in his athletic prime. Sure, being in prison has probably diminished his conditioning and football knowledge, but that can be regained. Besides, what made Vick a good quarterback was not his work ethic or football IQ. It was his pure talent.
Talent does not just disappear.
Maybe prison has ruined Vick instead of inspiring him. But he should be given the opportunity to prove that statement true or false.
How many other athletes have broken the law and been “punished” with nothing more than community service or a fine which fails to dent their bank account?
Vick went to jail.
He lost all his endorsements and recently had to file for bankruptcy. I personally don’t think there is any way Vick would take another opportunity for granted. He has nothing left, except for a chance at playing football again.
He deserves that chance.
"I will redeem myself, I have to."
Those were the final words spoken by Vick at a press conference before he was locked away for 23 months.
A potential road block for Vick is the fact that he is still under an indefinite suspension from the league. Assuming Vick’s suspension is lifted and he is eligible to play in the 2009 season, some team should give him his one phone call.
Perhaps the only team that shouldn’t consider Vick is the Cleveland Browns. Although their quarterback situation is far from solved, the irony of Vick being cheered from the “dog pound” would just be too much.