For the first six years of his career, Michael Vick was on top of the football world. During these years, Vick was the first pick of the 2001 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, he was selected to three Pro Bowls, he led the Falcons to an NFC championship game in 2005, he set the single season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,039 and to top it all off he signed a 10-year, $130 million contract in 2004, making him the highest paid player in the NFL.
This was just the start to the career of one of the most gifted athletes to ever play in the National Football League.
The league had never seen such a dynamic runner at the quarterback position paired with a rocket of a left arm. He could beat you with a 50-yard touchdown pass or a 50-yard touchdown run.
Team's had to change up their entire defensive strategies specially for Vick, because he was different than any other quarterback in the NFL. Vick's potential was massive and it didn't look like anything could stop him from achieving it. However, his fate soon changed.
In July 2007, Vick was convicted of the federal felony of dog fighting. Vick's crime consisted of executing dogs, fighting dogs and handling the gambling money that came from the fights. Vick was known as inmate 33765-183 for 19 months of his young life.
The only thing Vick could do was sit in a prison cell and realize the enormous mistake that he had made. He knew that once he was released from jail, he had to make amends fast and prove to everyone that he could change from his bad ways.
Vick was released from prison on May 20th, 2009. He served two months of home confinement and then he was a free man.
While incarcerated, Vick filed for bankruptcy and had many loans that needed to be payed back after his release from jail. He had to get a construction job to help pay back his debts as he waited to be reinstated by the NFL so he could start doing the thing he loved again, play football.
After being reinstated by the NFL, Vick signed a contract on August 13th, 2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He would play sparingly in 2009 as the backup quarterback to Donovan McNabb, but Vick was playing football again and that was all that mattered to him.
While all this was going on, Vick was doing charity work with the Humane Society trying to right all of the wrong that he did. He visited schools and talked to kids about what he did was wrong and that you should never commit those kinds of crimes. Vick was truly sorry for his actions and was doing all he could to try and earn the forgiveness of everyone he let down.
In 2010, Vick was still the backup quarterback behind starter, Kevin Kolb. During the first game of the season, Kolb was injured and this opened up the door for Vick to make his first NFL start since 2006.
Vick was triumphant in his first two NFL games leading the Eagles to victory. Unfortunately, he was injured in his third start against the Washington Redskins. This injury sidelined him for four weeks, but when he became healthy he was declared the starter for the Eagles by coach Andy Reid.
Reid had confidence in Vick and he delivered. He won four of his next five starts including a slaughtering of the team that previously injured him, the Redskins. Vick threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 80 yards and two more touchdowns.
Through the season so far, he has thrown 15 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Vick has the second highest quarterback rating in the NFL to only Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. He has also ran for over 450 yards and six touchdowns. Many people consider Vick a candidate for MVP this year because of his dominant play that has astounded many critics who didn't believe that he could return to his old form and even perform at a higher level than his Atlanta days.
Vick is having the best season of his career by far and is thankful for every second of it. He served his jail time for his actions and endured the pain of hurting all of the kids that looked up to him. Some people will still never forgive him for his actions but he has shown that he is sorry for what he has done. He made a huge mistake but deserves a second chance like everyone else in this world.