Vick Happy in Philly…Finally

Michael Vick is fast becoming a man that never shies away from a microphone.  One would think with Vick’s past troubles he would stay far away from any controversy.  However his comments to GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) magazine released this week have put the Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback in the news once again.

Vick stunned many, including thousands of Eagle fans, when he said in the article Philadelphia was actually his third choice to sign with after being released from prison 3 years ago.  Vick asserted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “paved” the way for him to go to Philly, while turning down offer from Cincinnati and Buffalo.

At first, it was thought Vick was complaining about being in Philly.  But later, Vick released a statement clarifying his views.

“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 (Andy) Reid.  After those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career.”

Vick went on to say the commissioner never told him where to sign or coerce him in any way on where to resume his playing career.  Vick said it has worked out better than he could have imagined and he’s extremely happy with the way it has worked out.

Sal Palantonio, a reporter in Philadelphia who covered the Vick signing, said on Sportscenter he doubts the claim.  Palantonio said owner Jeff Lurie, who is a staunch supporter of animal rights, had to be convinced by Eagles management and league officials to sign Vick and give him a second chance.  Lurie relented and is now glad he did.

In the September issue of GQ, Vick says that he met with Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his options on returning to the league.  This was before signing with Philadelphia.  Vick was quoted in the article his feelings at the time.

“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. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options.”

The article contends Vick was convinced in a meeting by Commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, that Philly would be the best place for him.  Vick agreed, and then was granted reinstatement into the league by Goodell after signing with the Eagles.

The league, of course, released a statement denying the commissioner “steered” Vick in any direction.  Saying instead the decision was Vick’s.

Certainly that is the case.  Goodell would never “tell” anyone where they have to play.  But make no mistake, it is not outside the realm of possibility for this to have happened.  Knowing the situation Vick was returning to and Andy Reid’s reputation for developing quarterbacks, Goodell probably did feel Philly was the best place.

Another factor was Donavan McNabb still being with the team at the time.  It’s probably Goodell felt that would be an excellent influence on Vick at the time.  McNabb would later be traded to the Washington Redskins.

Whatever the reason, Vick has made it work in Philadelphia.  A tribute to him.

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