Vick joins Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick is returning to the NFL after being absent for three years to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Before Sunday, September 19, Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick hadn’t started an NFL game since 2006. Vick is known as a huge talent in football, so it is astonishing that a player of such high caliber could have disappeared for so long–– he was, after all, once the highest paid player in the game. But, his legal troubles kept him off the field for three years.

In 2007, Vick was charged with illegal activities related to dog fighting. He was convicted in the winter of that year. Vick spent 18 months in a federal prison and then fulfilled the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

Vick was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, but once his jail sentence came to an end, he began to entertain the idea of playing football again and had offers from several teams. The Philadelphia Eagles landed Vick with a one-year contract worth $1.6 million and an option for a second year worth $5.2 million, according to ESPN.com.

It is no surprise that Vick was able to sign such a deal so soon after his release from prison, but it was still unknown how much he would be permitted to play. The Eagles had the intention of using him as a backup player and in situations that would require using two quarterbacks on the field (such as the wildcat formation where one quarterback can throws the ball, while the other catches and runs). Vick had success in the few games he played for the Eagles last season; however, he did not make any appearances as a starter.

The Eagles had high hopes for young quarterback Kevin Kolb this year, but after Kolb suffered a concussion in week one, it was Vick to the rescue. He finished the game with 175 yards on 16 completions and threw one touchdown–– almost leading the team to a comeback win over the Green Bay Packers. In week two, Vick made his first NFL start in nearly four years and was up to the challenge. He completed 21 passes for 284 yards and threw two touchdowns, which lead to a a victory over the Detroit Lions. On Tuesday, it was announced that he would be the starter for the Eagles for the rest of the season, according to ESPN.com.

Vick understands that this kind of redemption is not an everyday occurrence. Although in recent years he has overcome a lot to get back to the field, he realizes that football is a business and a sport. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Vick said, “I’m humbled and I just want to win games.” The Eagles are excited about the quality of play Vick has shown in the last two games, “His accelerated play was brilliant,” Head Coach Andy Reid said to Paolantonio, “This is what I think is right. He’s back and maybe even a little better.”

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