After five years together, the Philadelphia Eagles and quarterback Michael Vick officially ended their relationship when Vick signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the New York Jets, literally minutes after they released Mark Sanchez.
While splits like this happen all the time, the bond between the Vick, the Eagles and the city of Philadelphia was different. When Vick was released from prison following his involvement in a dogfighting operation, the Eagles were the only organization that wanted to take a chance on him, and for the most part looking back now, it worked out well for everyone involved.
That’s why it’s even nicer that Vick penned an open letter for the Inquirer before he departs, thanking the Eagles and the city of Brotherly Love.
I would like to thank the Eagles and the entire city of Philadelphia. I was honored to be their quarterback and took the privilege to heart every day. I especially want to thank Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid, who gave me the opportunity. I want to thank my teammates, who were not just coworkers, but friends. I also want to thank the millions of fans who cheered and supported our team.
People say Philadelphia fans are tough. I say they are fair. A player is not judged solely by his past or promises of the future, but by his actions today, and the next day, and the next.
In my time volunteering, I have met Philadelphia’s heroes. I’ve met at-risk children with few resources, but with teachers tirelessly helping them make the most of a second chance. I’ve seen the work of volunteers at school fund-raisers, food drives, after-school programs, hurricane shelters, Toys for Tots campaigns, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the meaningful work of the Humane Society of the United States. I’ve seen children choosing the mentorship of a football coach over peer pressure on a street corner. One of the best examples of a community deserving a second chance is the North Philadelphia Aztecs youth football team. As the players step onto Team Vick Field, they can hold their heads high and be proud that they are making Philly stronger.
The Eagles are an outstanding organization with a bright future, and I’m thankful for all the friendship, love, and support they gave me and my family. I look forward to seeing great things from them both on the field and in the community.
This was a class move by a man that has come a long way.