Gentleman, we can rebuild him. We have the short attention span and penchant for sports hero worship. We have the capability to rebuild the career of the world’s most dangerous fantasy football player. Michael Vick will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…more experienced reading blitzes before the snap…more accurate from the pocket.
Vick just signed the second $100 million contract of his career. The first contract was a 10-year, $130 million with the Atlanta Falcons and he only played 34 games into it before relinquishing his potential earnings and serving 19-months in prison. Now, the second contract is a six-year, $100 million deal with $40 million. It is front loaded, so he will potentially make $20 million this season before dropping to $12 million and evening out at $15.5 million for the four remaining years.
From a fantasy standpoint he is worth the money. He was the number one fantasy player last season, both a threat to throw a 50-yard touchdown pass on a whim and run one in from 30 yards out on a broken play. From a team standpoint he is worth the money, at least this season. He won eight of 11 games as a starter, he sells jerseys, the Philadelphia fans love rooting for a man with such a sordid past and are buying Eagles tickets to do so, and he could end his own career on one of those famous scrambles, freeing the team from most of the contract.
I would not count on that last possibility in the next couple of seasons. Vick appears physically able to continue playing his brand of football at the moment, but eventually he will have to learn to play in the pocket. Also, since he still owes his creditors $19 million he will be more than aptly motivated to reach every milestone in that contract and develop into a pocket passer just to pay the bills.
You figure between union fees, agent fees, managerial fees and taxes at most he can take home $50 million. That would still be a $31 million pay off for six years of work. As long as he is a bit wiser with his money he should be able to live just fine, just night quite as a extravagantly, at least until the sponsors feel he has done his due time and would no longer be a detriment to their brand name. At the very least he will strike some deals with local Philly businesses.
Of course, perhaps the best reason he is worth the money is that he fulfills the role of the redemptive man. He burned through his cash the first time and made deplorable moral decisions, but he did do his time and he appears to have grown up in the process. As a dog owner I am still disgusted by his actions, but I know there is something to celebrate if he has truly turned his life around. Yes, I am sure the potential $100 million payday is excessive, but celebrities, whether in entertainment, sports, or finances are overpaid, so I cannot focus on the amount of the check. Besides, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are still making more money and Brady gets to sleep with Gisele, and that kind of level of success makes me far more jealous.