Mike Vick, the star Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, has signed a multi-year extension worth about $100 million, I’ve confirmed through a league source. The amount of the guaranteed money, I’m told, is about $40 million.
Those are just numbers. They’re huge numbers. But they are just numbers nonetheless. What the contract extension represents is the near complete trip for Vick from outstanding physical talent to a player who didn’t work hard to improve that talent to dog killer to cautionary tale and now a redemption story.
Vick rocketed to fame on perhaps the most gifted paid of legs a quarterback has ever possessed. It was raw talent and it was stunning talent. The problem for Vick was that early in his career he failed to develop that talent. Inside the Atlanta organization Vick was known as one of the last to show up to practice and the first to leave when it was over.
Then came the dog fighting scandal that rocked a sport and led to Vick going to prison. I admit: I never thought we’d hear from Vick again.
He returned to the league and put on a show last year we’ve rarely seen before. He earned the Eagles’ trust and his reward is a fat contract extension.
There are still a great many people who despise Vick. That’s fine. Go ahead. My dog will never forgive him, either. Yet there is a part of this story that is truly stunning. A huge fall followed by a windfall. In many ways, despite the hatred many still have for Vick, he’s an American story. An ugly fall from grace due to some ugly actions and a return.
So here we are. The next act of The Mike Vick Saga complete. The first act was the discovery, the second the crime, the third the comeback.
Tweeted Chicago defensive back Chris Harris: “CONGRATS to @MikeVick on the new deal. A lot of people r gonna hate but what God has for u is for u.”
“Congrats to @MickVick on the new deal! #Road2Redemption,” tweeted lineman Damien Woody.
Now what we need to see from Vick is years of dedication and staying out of the hoosegow. Then the story will be complete.