Will Michael Vick get some closure with the Atlanta Falcons?
We have seen a player sign a contract with a club so he can retire with that team. Do the Atlanta Falcons owe Michael Vick that courtesy?
A mere 16 years ago, Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick was the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. The then-San Diego Chargers would wind up dealing the top selection that year to the Atlanta Falcons so they could select the versatile performer.
In 2002, the talented performer helped lead his team to the playoffs. Two years later, he was part of a club that fell one win short of Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2007, he was out of football and in the midst of serving an indefinite suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell without pay for his involvement in dogfighting. On June 12, 2009, he was released by the Falcons.
Vick would eventually be reinstated by Goodell, sign with the Philadelphia Eagles and play five seasons with the club. There would be one-year stints with the New York Jets (2014) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2015). His football days are over. And the now-36-year-old former star apparently would like to sign a one-year contract with the team that originally drafted him. But would that really happen given the circumstances? And has the subject even been broached?
“Well, I haven’t talked to anybody about it specifically,” said Vick to ESPN (via Vaughn McClure). “It’s something that I’ve really been thinking about trying to get done. I was asked the question the other day — is that what I want — and I said, ‘Yeah’…So, yeah, I think in due time, it’s something that can potentially happen.”
Potentially is an interesting word. The 13-year NFL veteran was invited to attend the team’s 2016 final regular-season home game. That invitation reportedly came from team owner Arthur Blank, who ultimately has the say-so on such a one-day contract. And it’s obvious why Vick would want one more day with the Falcons:
I think that’s where my identity lies as a player. I retired, and I didn’t reach out to anybody else in terms of where I wanted to retire or how I wanted to retire. I just wanted to do it quietly and just let things work out naturally. At the end of the day, it’s just been a blessing to play here in the city of Atlanta. It’s a place where I was really identified, where I think I made my legacy in such a short period of time. We set great moments, man. And I think it’s something that I’ll never forget, and the city as well.
So will Vick and the Atlanta Falcons have one final day together? While some may question when it will get done, perhaps the bigger issue is whether it should be done.