By Stu Krantz
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who is almost never wrong, Michael Vick has re-signed with the Eagles with a 6 year, $100 million contract that includes $40 million guaranteed.
What you think of this signing likely depends on what you think of Vick. I feel that this really has to do more with sports culture. Do I think what Vick did was terrible? Absolutely. Do I think he should a) have gotten back in the league and became a millionaire within days of getting out of prison and b) be potentially receiving $100 million (or at least $40 million)? No. But he will. The simple fact of the matter is that Vick will likely, depending on his success (which, if last year was any indicator, will be vast) grossly outproduce the dollar amount of this contract for Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles owner. Jeffrey Lurie, by spending what it was going to take to keep Vick in town for 6 years, will make a profit from all the money that Vick will generate (tickets, merchandise, etc.)
Vick has seemed to do the right things since getting out of prison, speaking to students and even Congress. But something-I don’t know what- tells me that he understands what he did was bad, but only because he had to serve time in the clink. As soon as he gets out, he almost instantly becomes a millionaire.
If this had been nearly anyone else in the world, serving time in federal prison for dogfighting would have almost certainly literally ruined their life. Any time they would apply for a job or try to re-enter society, their conviction would haunt them. As it should. Which is why things like this in sports concern/alarm me.
This is not anything new. This has been written countless times. We know that professional sports are not perfect and this is why. However, sports are, first and foremost, a business. Unless the world is going to severely curb their interest (not buy merchandise or attend games, a ludicrous proposition if you think about it), it will continue to be a business, and an extremely lucrative one at that. It’s why Dan Snyder can charge me 90 bucks for an Orakpo jersey at Fedex Field, why Jeffrey Lurie can charge an equally ludicrous amount for the same jersey with different colors at the Linc. Because we will spend the money. And that’s why he paid Vick as he did, just as any other owner would have. Is it right (morally/ethically)? Absolutely not. Is it right from a business perspective? Absolutely.
And unless the world is going to suddenly lose all interest in sports, no matter how many convicted felons like Vick we have signing $100 million dollar contracts, it won’t matter.
Anyway. Back to the football. This move clearly shows that the Eagles are going all in on Vick-above other players on the team (read: DeSean Jackson), even with his injury risk. This is mirrored in fantasy, where you have some guys who won’t touch him because of that risk, but some people want to take him no. 1 overall because of the nearly limitless potential if he does play all 16 games. They can’t know if he will, but if he does, they have a player, and weapon, nothing else in the league compares to. Clearly the Eagles are (literally) banking on that hope.
That was readily apparent when they went on an insane spree after the lockout ended, signing Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, Ronnie Brown, Vince Young, Steve Smith and trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
However it works out, and whatever you think about Vick and this deal, one thing is for sure.
It sure is a better-spent $100 million than Haynesworth.