While I don’t condone dogfighting or any act of cruelty (human or animal), I also don’t support permanent punishment of individuals who have made mistakes.
The incidents that Michael Vick allowed himself to be involved in were cruel, irresponsible, unprofessional and flat-out stupid. That being said, he has cooperated with the justice system and the NFL since his indictment in 2007.
He’s served his sentence. He’s cooperated with Roger Goodell, who I think is the most respectable commissioner of all major sports. He’s accepted the mentoring of one of the classiest men the NFL has ever had in Tony Dungy.
He’s out to prove that he’s a rehabilitated individual who, like many of us including those who protest him being reinstated to the league, made some stupid mistakes. I believe he deserves a chance to redeem himself as a person and a football player.
I knew that Vick would one day play in the NFL again, but the last team I thought would pursue him would be the Philadelphia Eagles. I was at Kaminski’s in Cherry Hill after work watching the end of the first half against the Patriots last night when I first received a text message of his signing.
I thought the individual who texted me was just being a prankster. Then, a random stranger came up next to me and asked, “How about that Vick signing with the Eagles?” At that point, I rushed outside to get a strong enough signal to check the headlines and there it was…..VICK SIGNS TWO-YEAR DEAL WITH EAGLES.
Once reality sunk in and I watched Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb’s press conference, I thought, "This is good for both sides." It’s a low risk/high reward for the Eagles and a place where Vick isn’t expected to be "The Man" after two years away from the game.
For the Eagles, Vick is more than just a Wildcat option. I’m not buying the propaganda that has been delivered. Vick is here to be the No. 2 option at quarterback behind McNabb.
Before his knee injury that kept him out of the preseason opener, I don’t think the Eagles had much confidence in Kevin Kolb being McNabb’s primary backup nor is he considered the future of the Eagles anymore.
A.J. Feeley showed why he is still on the roster and is likely not going anywhere, making Kolb trade bait at this point. By the time he is eligible and in football shape, Vick may very well be the best second-string quarterback in the league.
For Vick, he gets to be part of a very structured environment. The goal is to keep McNabb healthy. If that’s the case, Vick really won’t see the field much and can focus on getting re-acclimated to life in the NFL. But if McNabb were to go down, would you rather see Vick or Kolb jogging onto the field?
Despite the logo, the Eagles are not an animal rights group. They are a football team in business to win games. High character is important and if Vick is truly a reformed individual, that says a lot about his current character.
If giving him a second chance helps get Philadelphia its first Lombardi Trophy, I’m all for it.