This came out of no where. I did not even have an inkling the Eagles had interest in Vick, let alone the gumption to sign him. Since I live out of the Philadelphia market, the preseason tilt the Eagles were participating in last night was not on my television. So armed with my blackberry, I was doing a little grocery/supply shopping when I got a random text from a friend of mine who claimed the Eagles signed Michael Vick. My buddy is a Redskins fan, so I assumed it was a prank. Nope, the Eagles really did sign Michael Vick, as confirmed by multiple media outlets.
I’m not sure what to make of this. Vick was a solid athlete and decent football player a few years back. However, I never thought he was a great quarterback or even an elite football player. Now after his struggles with dog fighting, gambling and conspiracy, I’m not sure he has any juice in the tank. Aside from the Eagles having to deal with the off the field backlash of his signing, the Eagles have to figure out where he is going to play – quarterback? Wide receiver? Wildcat qb? Punt returner? I just don’t know where he fits. I assume the Eagles will spend some time working him out, seeing what kind of shape he is in and then determining where he can best help the team. I guess the big open questions are where does he play and in what capacity AND how will the city of Philadelphia, the Eagles fans and the rest of the country handle the signing of a former felon?
I think second chances are important. People make mistakes. However, I have to wonder how many people would have gotten second chances if they didn’t play football. I think the United States judicial system is designed to allow people to get second chances. Vick did his time for his crime and now wants to move on. I assume he will be a massive presence in the charitable and community service area of the Eagles organization. Also, who better than to work with the troubled youth of the Philadelphia area than Vick? He can simply say, look what happened to me over the last two years, don’t do it. (Ok, it may have worked out in the end for him because he has a contract, but you get the point).
While I don’t want to discredit the brutal and disgusting crimes Michael Vick committed, but there are a few worse things that football players have done. Specifically, Leonard Little and Donte Stallworth both killed humans via DUI. Little served very little time and continued playing. Stallworth was able to avoid almost all jail time and will be able to resume football next year. The difference in these cases than Michael Vick’s is that the families of the people killed wanted to go after the players’ money. The more money these athletes made, the more money the families could sue for civilly. The dogs involved with Michael Vick didn’t really have this outlet, so Vick was much more at the mercy of the law. Vick got what he deserved.
Of course, the question comes into play, what about McNabb? Apparently, McNabb was consulted on this issue and was very happy to have Vick on the team. All McNabb has to do is play great, win some games and Michael Vick is a non-issue. He only helps the Eagles. Of course, I had to wait to hear what McNabb thought until Philly.com updated their web site since Dave Spadaro of PhiladelphiaEagles.com didn’t ask McNabb what he thought during the post game interview. Um, Dave, don’t you think it was your job to ask McNabb what he though about Vick? Sparado is a waste.
This whole Michael Vick thing could turn out to be very interesting. Since he isn’t eligible to play until week 6, do the Eagles have him on the roster so he can practice or do they put him on the suspended list where he can’t practice? This should all play out very soon.
While I can’t say I like Michael Vick for things he has done (never was into him as a football player, either), he does bring a certain mystic to the Eagles offense and at least could be an extra weapon. As an Eagles fan, I guess I sometimes have to put aside my personal feelings and look at it from the betterment of the team. I always hated Josh Parry and Reno Mahe, but that didn’t stop me from supporting my Eagles.
The signing of Michael Vick completely overshadowed some excellent preseason performances from LeSean McCoy, Leonard Weaver, Eldra Buckley, Brent Celek and Jeremy Maclin. McNabb looked solid, but had no time because Jason Peters looked terrible. The defense needs to step it up, as well. Since this was the first preseason game and the Eagles are notably slow starters, I will give them a pass. But after this Vick signing and more time to practice, my patience will wear thin. Andy Reid better have these Eagles ready for a big season.