Tag:Michael Vick
Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:35 am

Michael Vick's contract has no 'conduct language'

Posted by Will Brinson

On Monday night, Michael Vick became the first player in NFL history to sign a second nine-figure contract, getting a six-year, $100 million contract from the Eagles that makes him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

Given his past -- ahem -- transgressions, it wouldn't be surprising to find out that Philadelphia guarded themselves from getting torched by Vick through specific language in the contract relating compensation to conduct.

But they didn't. Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports report that Vick's deal contains "nothing other than the usual stuff," has "normal" stipulations on conduct and is "no different" than other player contracts.

Vick's Second Life

So, clearly, the Eagles weren't pressing Vick (or couldn't?) to include a pile of stipulations in the deal about his behavior off the field. Obviously that's something the Falcons wish they'd done, as it would have made recouping money much easier than actually, you know, suing Vick.

For Philly though, it might not have made any sense to do so. They clearly believe that Vick's a changed man -- and if a cynic like Prisco believes it, can you blame them? -- and the more risk for a player that's included in a contract like this, the more money that's required from a team to make said player take said risks.

If the Eagles don't believe Vick will go back to his old ways, and they quite clearly do not, then there's no reason to push the negotiating envelope on player conduct clauses.

Bonus nuggets that are interesting about Vick's contract: if he's fully paid, it's believed that his creditors will also be fully paid. That's annoying for Vick, since it means giving up a lot of $100 million, but it also means that this deal fully guarantees him freedom from bankruptcy well in advance of the timeline that was set when he left prison.

And, because Vick's making so much money, the Eagles now have the highest-paid lineman in the NFL (Jason Peters, who makes $12.8 million a year), the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL (Nnamdi Asomugha, who makes $12 million a year) and the highest paid quarterback in the NFL in Vick.

That's indicative of the Eagles willingness to spend this offseason, but give them credit -- if you're going to pick three positions to truly pay a premium price in the NFL, those three are excellent choices.

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 8:06 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 8:51 pm

Report: Vick signs 6-year, $100 million deal


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Michael Vick: take your place alongside Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Not so much for the consistency you've provided or for the championships you've won. But for the amount of money you make.

The National Football Post's Andrew Brandt is reporting that Vick and the Eagles have agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract, and ESPN's Adam Schefter writes that the deal includes about $40 million of guaranteed money.

Vick's Second Life
His deal, if you look at it from an average salary per year aspect, is less than Manning (five years, $90 million, $54.5 million guaranteed), but it’s comparable to Brady (five years, $78.5 million, $48.5 million guaranteed).* At the very least, it’s in that same stratosphere.

*To contrast, Kevin Kolb, who was ejected from Philadelphia by Vick, went to the Cardinals and got a $63 million deal with a $20 million guarantee.

Which is amazing considering where Vick was at this time two years ago: in prison for dog fighting and with a future that was extremely uncertain.

Now, as CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman writes, Vick is that much closer to redemption. But it’s also a somewhat-curious decision by the Eagles, aside from the report that the new deal lowered Vick’s cap number by about $2 million (Vick had been playing under the franchise tag).

Obviously, Vick’s talent level and athleticism are second to none, but you have to wonder about two aspects of his game: 1) Is he brittle? Last year, he showed that, yes, he is injury-prone when he decides to tuck the ball and run. Vick has a tough time playing the way a quarterback should play when he’s scrambling (namely, sliding feet-first and getting the hell out of danger at the first sign of it). That's a concern. 2) Vick's detractors point to his trouble in reading NFL defenses. Which is not what you want to see if you're paying $100 million to your quarterback.

I guess the big question is whether Vick was worth this kind of money. At this point, it’s impossible to know, but if I had to guess, I’d lean toward "probably not." Remember, the Falcons gave Vick a $100 million deal in an earlier life. It didn’t work out so well for them. Vick's a different person now, but he's older too. One year of playing football in his post-prison life might not be enough to know whether Vick deserves this much money.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 10:00 am

Michael Vick defends Eagles' offensive line

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The "Dream Team" label (epitaph?) bestowed on the Eagles by backup quarterback Vince Young has already become a tedious subplot to a season that is still two weeks away. But this is what happens when ordinary people make extraordinary observations about a team that last won a championship in 1960.

There's no disputing that, on paper, the Eagles are a collection of fantastic players, but there's more to winning Super Bowls than the names on the roster. Abstract notions like team chemistry are also important and that's something you can't predict. The only way to see how a group will perform together is to put them on the field.

Last week against the Steelers, it wasn't pretty. Philadelphia had five turnovers -- including three Michael Vick first-half interceptions -- were thoroughly outplayed at every position, and the favorites to claim the NFC East looked more like an outfit primed to win the Andrew Luck Bowl. But that's why there's preseason; to work through the rough patches, make adjustments and try to get better.

Which is exactly what happened Thursday night. Against the Browns, the Eagles looked more like a team contending for a championship. They led 17-0 at the half and won easily, 24-14. That said, it wasn't a flawless performance. Issues that were exposed the week before in Pittsburgh were mitigated but not eliminated against Cleveland. Chief among them: Inconsistencies along the offensive line.

Vick's ability to avoid the pass rush certainly helps, but he's not built to take a beating on a weekly basis from now till January. Put differently: Philly's one play away from their Dream Team hopes ironically falling into Young's lap.

The Eagles have rookies Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins starting at center and right guard, and King Dunlap trying to get up to speed at right tackle. Vick, who was sacked just once but spent a nontrivial part of the evening running for his life, after the game defended the five guys tasked with keeping him upright (via the Philadelphia News' Les Bowen).

"The minute you start to get down on a player, or down-talk 'em, then that's when they lose confidence," Vick said afterward, under pointed questioning about the blocking.

"Regardless of who it is, I'm going to give defenses fits anyway. Just plain and simple, saying that out of confidence, not arrogance."

Vick's right. The problem, however, is that when he's pressuring defenses with his legs he's much more susceptible to injury. We saw it last season when he suffered a rib injury against the Redskins on a long scramble and ended up missing four games. But it's also a huge part of why he's so dangerous. Plus, given the steep learning curve currently facing the right side of Philly's o-line, Vick may not be much safer in the pocket. To his credit, he's sticking up for his teammates.

"You can't expect a guy to come in and be a Pro Bowl player in two games. That's just not the way this thing works," he said, according to Bowen. "We started out a little shaky, but we got it together," Vick said. "You have to take what the defense gives you . . . You've just got to let it develop."

You also have to take what your o-line gives you. And for now, Vick's able to do that.

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 7:16 pm

Tiki Barber has had one workout this preseason

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Remember when Tiki Barber announced this spring that he was coming out of retirement? And the scuttlebutt that several teams (including the Steelers and Buccaneers) would likely give him a shot at redemption? Well, we're more than three weeks into training camp and Barber has had a grand total of one workout, with the Dolphins, and he left Miami without a contract.

That was on August 3. We haven't heard a word from him since, even though the Patriots are inviting every old-timer with a pulse to Foxboro to go through the paces (they even signed a few).

With the NFL regular season three weeks away, Barber's window of opportunity appears to be slamming shut. The New York Daily News Gary Myers writes that despite Barber's complicated back story, the former Giants running back has earned the right for another shot.

"Regardless of what you think of how Barber left the Giants in his prime - and it wasn't pretty - or the comments he subsequently made about Eli Manning or Tom Coughlin, or how he split from his wife while she was pregnant with twins, that has nothing to do with this simple fact: He deserves a chance to prove he can still play," Myers wrote Saturday.

"Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress each missed two full seasons serving jail time and had no trouble finding work. But nobody wants to touch Barber."

For all the reasons Myers cited above. Both Vick and Burress were considered good teammates -- something we can't say about Barber -- and both possessed enough raw ability, even after stints in prison, that several teams thought signing them was worth the risk.

Barber's a 36-year-old running back four years removed from his last NFL snap. In football terms, 36 might as well be 86. And his inability to get along with teammates and coaches negates any on-field talents he might have left.

"Somebody might give him a tryout. Nobody is going to give him any money," one GM said when Barber announced in March he was coming back. "I wouldn't even acknowledge it. I would rather read the cartoons. What running back plays at 36? Who wants to bring a guy in for one year?"

Barber's best shot at resurrecting his NFL career might come after the regular season is underway and only if a team has a run on injuries at the running back position and are in desperate need for help. Otherwise, his un-retirement announcement will be just that: words.

Myers adds that "Barber had two years and $8.2 million left on his Giants contract when he retired. He turned down a four-year, $13.2 million deal to work at Fox, where he built up a lot of good will and on-air experience during his playing days, to accept NBC's three-year, $5.7 million deal. He retired too early and then took the wrong TV deal."

Unlike when Barber abruptly retired in 2006, his NFL career is now out of his hands. On the upside, former Giants head coach Jim Fassel has extended Barber an offer to join UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 3:32 pm

Podcast: Vick, Pryor, Tebow and Rookie QBs

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Doug Farrar of Yahoo.com's Shutdown Corner blog and FootballOutsiders.com (buy FO's 2011 Almanac now!) joins the podcast to talk about Terrelle Pryor's newfound supplemental draft eligibility, Michael Vick's GQ interview, and commissioner Roger Goodell's role in all this.

There is actual football going on, as well. Farrar gives us his take on the rookie quarterbacks, including the revelation that he thinks Jake Locker could be the Titans starter even though the team paid Matt Hasselbeck $9 million. We discuss whether Chris Johnson is worth what he thinks he's worth, and which rookies (at any position) will have the biggest impacts for their teams this season. And, of course, there's a gratuitous Cam Netwon name-check.

Oh, and there were games Thursday -- the Pats played the Bucs and the Steelers hosted the Eagles. We talk about that, too. (Down goes the Dream Team!)

Yapping starts … now (and while we have you, remember to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes).

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:55 pm

Vick, NFL say he wasn't steered to Philly

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, GQ previewed their feature on Michael Vick, which included a quote from the Eagles quarterback that suggested NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell steered him towards Philadelphia.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth," Vick told GQ author Will Leitch. "I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options." Leith wrote that those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced — and granted league approval — to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."

By Thursday afternoon, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had sent a series of tweets refuting Vick's recounting of events.

"On the Michael Vick story: His decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own... Commissioner Goodell obviously met & spoke to Michael and his reps as part of his decision on whether to reinstate him & on what terms... But the commissioner would never steer players to or away from particular teams and did not do so in this case."

Eagles Offseason

The full GQ interview went live Thursday morning, and by midday, Vick was backtracking from his comments. He released the following statement through the Eagles website:

"I felt it was necessary to put out a statement today clarifying the article in GQ Magazine. I did speak with many people, but the decision to sign in Philadelphia was based on my discussions with my agent, my family and with Coach Reid. And after those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career. The Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. Again, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a decision I made and, as I have said numerous times before, I’m very happy with the way it has worked out for me and my family."

Make of this what you will.

As ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Thursday after Vick's statement, "Does anyone really believe if Buffalo or Cincinnati offered Mike Vick more money than Philly, he wouldn't have gone there?" Good question, especially if one or both of those teams were willing to make Vick the starter.

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman doesn't buy Vick's revised story, either.

Just remember: Goodell is the same guy NFL players decided to keep as judge, jury and executioner on all matters of punishment in the new collective bargaining agreement. Truthfully, is anyone shocked that a billion-dollar corporation would go into damage-control mode after such a revelation? Especially when the man in charge is as powerful as he's ever been?

In related news, we're expecting Vick to stick to his original story that the struggles at the end of his Falcons career rest solely with the coaching staff's inability to correctly assess his talents.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:24 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Posted by Will Brinson

An interview with Michael Vick in GQ is set to hit the Internet on Thursday morning, and you can guarantee that after reading some of the quotes, it's sure to cause a bit of a publicity firestorm.

Well, that's based on some limited quotes, via Deadspin, that Vick gave to Will Leitch (of New York mag and Deadspin fame) anyway.

"Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is," Vick said about the background involved in people hearing his story. "Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know."

This is true, I think. I've argued as much, but whenever you play the "byproduct of culture or society" angle to anyone, they immediately put any number of examples that refute that back in your face. That's cool. It's their prerogative, and it's why there's not a singular opinion about Vick in our society.

Whatever you think about that subject, though, it probably is going to involve some discussion of race. Vick, based on his quotes, is fine with obliging that line of thinking.

Eagles Offseason

"I think that's accurate," Vick tells Leitch when asked if white people don't get how dogfighting plays out in black culture. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."

Hoo boy. Not to make comparisons with football players who have been to prison and then returned to the game, but these sort of quotes kind of sound awfully familiar, yes?

Look, we don't yet know the context of the full discussion between Leitch and Vick. But it's pretty hard to fathom that such quotes are taken out of context to the point that they seem somewhat inflammatory here but not within the scope of the full interview.

What's even harder to fathom is that Vick would actually break character and say anything remotely controversial. To this point, he's been picture perfect when it comes to rehabilitating his image. The comments above are the antithesis of that.

A.J. Daulerio at Deadspin makes a good point though -- from a sports perspective, the most controversial comments that Vick makes might have to do with his decision about where to stage his comeback.

Originally, Vick didn't want to go to Philadelphia. He felt like joining the Bills or Bengals (!) were better options.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia," Vick says. "Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."

Leitch then points out that Vick met with Roger Goodell and the NFL and was steered towards Philly -- "I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation" -- which could seriously fire up those two fanbases, given that having Michael Vick on their respective rosters would certainly change things.

Oh, and the fact that the league steered one of the (now) most dynamic players in the league to a particular situation. That should go over really well with the media in the coming days.

Despite the potential firestorm that could come on that front, though, it's hard to really fault anyone for pushing Vick a certain way -- no one thought he would end up playing as well as he did in 2010.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 7:58 pm

Jeremy Maclin medically cleared post cancer scare

Posted by Will Brinson

Jeremy Maclin's absence -- and his "mysterious illness" -- has hovered above Eagles camp. Good news was expected on Tuesday, but it wasn't until Wednesday evening when the wide receiver revealed that he's dealt with a "cancer scare" for the past few weeks.

The scare began on May 11 when a scan -- designed to follow up on heavy weight loss among other symptoms -- found "enlarged and hot" lymph nodes. Now, the receiver is cleared, based on what he told Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com Wednesday.

"That's first and foremost, I want everyone to know I'm fine, I'm healthy," Maclin said. "I was tested for everything, and every single test came back negative. I don't have mono, I don't have AIDS, leukemia — all the things people were guessing on, there was nothing. I was being tested for lymphoma and thank God everything has come back negative."

Maclin also noted the precise reason why he kept any news about his health out of the public -- he wanted privacy as he dealt with the possibility of a very serious disease and the battery of tests that accompanied such a fear. He also noted how the Eagles treated him less like an employee during the process, and more like a son.

"I wanted to keep it private until I knew for sure what was going on, and the Eagles were amazing," Maclin said. "They were one of the only ones who knew. My relationship with them is more than professional. They were like family during this."

Eagles Offseason

Wednesday, doctors called him and informed him that the tests had cleared him of any illness -- Maclin told Glazer that the scare was "all caused by an inflammatory virus."

The Eagles are expected to release a statement on Wednesday evening and Maclin is expected to return to practice soon, though he said he has to wait a bit longer until he's "healed from the procedure last week."

He'll likely have some catching-up to do, based on the fact that he spent his offseason being tested for life-threatening diseases and undergoing constant medical exams.

But that's okay, because the wide receiver has -- understandably -- a new lease on life.

"Man, I don't wish this on anybody. I look back at my whole life, I've already gone through so much," Maclin said. "I already appreciate where I am and appreciate the game of football. I can't wait to get back out there and just resume my normal life."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com