Michael Vick once again has a home in the NFL. The disgraced former Falcons quarterback yesterday signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles that will pay him $1.6 million, with a second-year team option valued at $5.2 million.
Once one of the most electrifying athletes in football, many are wondering if Vick has lost a step from his world-class speed during the time he spent in prison on dog fighting charges. Questions about his athleticism will have to be answered in the middle of the season when Vick's NFL-imposed suspension ends and he can step back onto the field. But questions regarding his criminal history and alleged reform have begun immediately.
Vick held a press conference today with Eagles coach Andy Reid and his mentor, former Colts coach Tony Dungy, to explain that he's put his criminal past behind him and looks forward to being a positive role model.
"I know I've done some terrible things, made a horrible mistake. Now I want to be part of the solution and not the problem," Vick said during the press conference.
Is Vick sincere in his remorse or is he simply saying what he needs to in order to once again play football? Only Michael Vick himself knows the true answer to that question, but many detractors, including PETA, remain unconvinced that he is truly repentant.
In a press release issued today PETA had this to say about Vick's new found employment with the Eagles:
PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Philadelphia Eagles have chosen to sign a man who hanged dogs from trees, electrocuted them with jumper cables, held them underwater until they drowned in his swimming pool, and even threw his own family dogs into the fighting pit to be torn to shreds while he laughed. What sort of message does this send to young fans who care about animals and don't want to see them be harmed?
PETA certainly hopes that Vick has learned his lesson and feels truly remorseful for his crimes—but since he's given no public indication that that's the case, only time will tell. At this point, all Eagles fans can do is cross their fingers and hope that they won't ever have to explain to their sons and daughters what a "rape rack" is and why their favorite player was using one, as Falcons fans once had to.
How Michael Vick's NFL career will play out is anyone's guess, but one thing's for sure; America's fascination with Vick's saga is far from other.
OpposingViews asks: Should the Eagles have signed Michael Vick?