Michael Vick's Contract Doesn't Make Sense, but Neither Does the Media Coverage

Brendan O'HareContributor IAugust 30, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Eagles gave quarterback Michael Vick a reported $100 million contract, with $40 million of that being guaranteed.

This is obviously insane, as Vick has an aptness for being injured semi-frequently, and played only 12 games last year. It's the equivalent of asking someone to marry you on the second date. 

Eagles fans, in all of their rationale and infinite wisdom, must realize this to some extent. Shelling out $40 million to be automatically given to Vick (the number that really matters in this) shows that you have extreme confidence in the fact that he can stay healthy, yet simultaneously play the game his way, therefore earning that money.

The problem is, Vick can't play his brand of football—on the run, evasive—without being in harms way at least some of the time. Vick "earned" his contract by playing that way last year, especially when he had to miss three games with a rib injury that was suffered when he was on the run.

It is almost predestined that Vick doesn't finish out this contract, the same way he didn't finish out his last $100 million contract. Of course, that wasn't completed for different reasons, but those reasons are still being brought up with this contract.

This is where those two contracts intersect, thanks to media coverage. I may be a staunch critic of this contract, but for the blatant reasons at hand. Vick is notorious for being injured quasi-consistently, thanks to his style of play. His numbers, although not sharply, saw a decrease toward the end of last season as they Eagles began to have a tougher schedule, and perhaps Vick had his body break down.

For whatever reason, Vick receiving his upcoming mega-contract will be linked to his last one, where he lost every dollar he had when he went bankrupt, due to his dogfighting scandal.

Perhaps it may be right to connect the two, but only for the reason that Vick has a history of not protecting his assets well. But to forever associate "Michael Vick" and "dogfighting" the way these next few tweets do, either show a refusal to forgive or just sloppy, desperate “storytelling”.

@NYBD: Michael Vick gets $100 million - he gets a nice 2nd chance, too bad a number of those dogs he killed never will

@erikmal: Michael Vick's new contract: $100 million. ASPCA's annual operating expenses: $88.9 million

@thedailybeast: Michael Vick Signs $100M Deal: Two years after serving time for dog fighting.

@MacFarlaneCOXTV: Michael Vick returns to superstardom. But dogfighting cohorts still struggling. Quanis Phillips of Atlanta back in fed prison in Orlando

Regarding the first two: The "those dogs will never have a 2nd chance" angle is a tired one at this point. Most of American society now sees Vick as a cautious comeback story, one who seems to be regretful for his past.

Whether he is just "sorry" or "sorry for getting caught", it doesn't matter. He is going around giving speeches to children, donating to the ASPCA and is being an ambassador to the perils of dogfighting.

No one asks Ray Lewis or Leonard Little or Donte Stallworth to donate to the Human Fund whenever they receive a new contract, but we put so much emphasis on this incident due to the emotional rise it gets out of people.

To compare Vick's rise from the depths of the American penal system to Quanis Phillips is really quite ridiculous. Vick can't help that Phillips didn't make himself a valuable member of society after prison. Even if it wasn't the intent of the tweet, it is still implied. That is what all of these have in common: Implied Superiority. We feel that we are better than Michael Vick. 

I am not supporting what Vick did. I also am not supporting his new contract. But the way we cover Michael Vick has to stop. We rely too much on a treaded storyline. To be so unforgiving is kind of sub-human, honestly. We should be happy that he has made something of himself, and became a success story after returning from a flawed American prison system.

It's a crappy contract, and from a business standpoint, it doesn't make any sense. But talk about that.

Brendan O’Hare runs the sports/pop culture blogging conglomerate PineRiders, which has been linked to by Deadspin, EDSBS, Puck Daddy, and With Leather. If you want to be in Brendan’s next mailbag, contact him bohare7@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrendanOHarePR.