Michael Vick Signs With Eagles
Quarterback served 20 months for bankrolling a dogfighting ring and killing eight dogs.
Kristopher Wardwell |
Posted: August 14, 2009, 4 p.m. EDT
Michael Vick, the National Football League quarterback who was released from prison in May 2009 after being convicted of federal dogfighting charges in 2007, has signed on as a backup quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Atlanta Falcons released Vick from his $130 million contract in June. His two-year trial contract with Philadelphia will pay him $1.6 million in the first year, with an option for $5.2 million in the second year, according to FoxSports.
The NFL conditionally reinstated 29-year-old Vick last month, after suspending him indefinitely in 2007. He can begin practicing with Philadelphia immediately and participate in the final two pre-season games. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will decide in October when Vick can play during the regular season.
“I was wrong for what I did,” Vick said in a press conference on Aug. 13, 2009. “I think everyone deserves a second chance. But you only get one chance at a second chance, and I am conscious of that.”
Vick says he plans to prove himself as an ambassador for the NFL and the community. “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,” he said.
Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Eagles, said his decision to sign Vick “took a lot of soul searching. Sometimes in life, you have to make extremely difficult and soul-searching decisions where there’s no right answer,” he said.
Responding to the news, Ed Sayres, president and CEO of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said his organization expects Vick to "express remorse" and "display more compassion." "We hope that Mr. Vick uses his stature for the betterment of the community and the advancement of the issue of animal cruelty," Sayres said.
Vick was arrested on April 25, 2007, after authorities discovered evidence of his Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation, including dog-burial sites and dogfighting paraphernalia, at his home in Surry County, Va. Sixty-six dogs, mostly pit bulls, were seized and placed in animal-control shelters.
Vick served 18 months in a federal penitentiary and another two in home confinement. The judge presiding over the case commuted three months of the sentence. Vick began serving three years of probation last month.
For full coverage of the Michael Vick case, including an update on how some of the rescued dogs are doing, click here.
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