NFL’s $100 Million Man

Aug 31, 2011 11:32am
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Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images

For Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, what a difference two years makes.

That is the amount of time the 31-year-old football star went from filing for bankruptcy after serving 18 months in prison to becoming the NFL’s 100 million dollar man.

On Tuesday, the Eagles signed Vick to a six-year, $100 million contract, making him the third-highest-paid player in the NFL, behind only New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

It is the comeback of all comebacks for the quarterback.

In 2007 the superstar had everything until he was convicted on felony dogfighting charges for operating a dogfighting operation in which underperforming dogs were executed. 

Vick lost his career, freedom and much of the ten-year, $130 million contract he signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2004.  He served 18 months at a federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kan.

Not long after, Vick stood in U.S. Bankruptcy Court while one of his attorneys told a judge about a $10-an-hour construction job Vick had lined up when he got out of prison.

Vick told ABC News’ Bob Woodruff in an interview last year that he did not see himself returning to the football field at that low point in his life.

“Well at the time my NFL career was over,” he said.

But he got it all back when the Eagles were the first to sign Vick two years ago when he was fresh out of federal prison.

“I was blessed with so much and I took it all for granted,” Vick told ABC News.  “You don’t realize what you’ve done wrong until you’re actually in prison.”

Vick was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 after winning eight of 11 starts and throwing a career-high 21 touchdown passes.  He became the Eagle’s starting quarterback last September after replacing an injured Kevin Kolb.

After the best professional season of his life, Vick reenters the arena as a new man with a new image.

He is now also the first player in NFL history to sign more than one nine-figure deal in his career.

“Michael Vick in many ways is that ultimate story of redemption,” Christine Brennan, sports columnist for USA Today told ABC News.  “He is a man who seems contrite, who paid the price and now is back, and he’s winning.”


 

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