Michael Vick deserves right to fight his way back into the NFL

September 8, 2009 — by Roy Bisht and Tim Rollinson

In 2007, investigators received a warrant to search the property of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. They found three buildings full of abused and neglected dogs that had been trained to viciously fight other dogs.

Three years after being convicted, Michael Vick has spent time in a federal prison, apologized for his actions and pleaded for forgiveness from his fans. He has learned his lesson and is ready to get back to the NFL .Although Vick committed the horrific crime of sponsoring a dog fighting operation, he deserves a second chance.

It has been three years since he made his last pass in the NFL, but the Philadelphia Eagles still signed Vick to a one-year contract worth $1.6 million dollars in early August. Vick has the credentials to play in the NFL and, at the time of his 2007 suspension, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in 2007 that Vick would not be able to return to the league until he showed “sincere remorse.” In a letter to Vick, Goodell said he hoped he would be a positive role model. Vick appeared publicly on “60 Minutes,” explaining his regret. “I knew, you know, we all know the magnitude of the decisions that I made, and the poor judgment,” Vick said, “and this was the reason I cried so many nights.”

But it’s not like Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid wanted Vick for the publicity. He acquired a very talented quarterback in order to increase his offense’s depth and provide a viable go-to quarterback behind first string QB Donavon McNabb. That’s his job, to make the Eagles the most successful team in the NFL. If Vick does not perform up to standards, Reid says that he will not hesitate to cut Vick from the team.

Letting Vick just sit out on the free agent market would be not only a waste of his talent, but also a blow to the NFL. Vick has both a strong arm and blazing speed, a rare combination for a quarterback. With these abilities, Vick would make any team better. Vick demonstrated his stellar abilities while playing for the Atlanta Falcons before his suspension. During those years, Vick broke five rushing records for a quarterback. Not only was he a threat to pass, but he was also one of the biggest running threats in the game. His speed and versatility, also allow Vick to be played also be used as a wide receiver or a running back.

Vick has paid for his actions in more ways than one. While he was spending his 18 months in prison, he was away from his fiancé and his young daughter, missing the majority of his daughter’s young life, which may have been the biggest punishment of all. We all know what Vick has done and how cruel it was, but he has been punished enough for his actions.

Vick may not deserve to be the starting quarterback on a team, but he should at least be allowed to have a second chance. If he wants to be a starter, then Vick will have to earn it, just like he had to earn his way back into the NFL by paying for his crime in prison. Reid is approaching the situation the way he should, by giving Vick a chance. If he succeeds, then he will have shown the world that he deserves the second chance. If he fails to show remorse and doesn’t learn from his mistake, then he will be cut and have to look for work somewhere else.

While Vick’s preseason debut as an Eagle went well, 4-4 in passes with 19 yards and one rushing yard in one attempt, the statistics did not the biggest moment of the game. More importantly, when Vick entered the stadium for the first time, the crowd in Philadelphia welcomed him with cheers rather than jeers.