Roughly four years ago, Michael Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and gambling charges. At the time, we wondered if his career would be over. Many believed Vick would never rejoin the NFL as a starting quarterback, but that some team would likely give him a shot at securing a roster spot. The Eagles volunteered to be that team and Vick has rewarded them.
In the course of two seasons, Vick went from backup quarterback and wildcat specialist to nearly winning an NFL MVP award. He overcame the burden of being a hated celebrity — a burden that was well-deserved — and reemerged as a top-flight NFL starter. As his popularity once again rose, Vick secured endorsement deals and remained an excellent pitchman for sports companies. It was only a matter of time before the big guns jumped back aboard.
On Friday, Darren Rovell broke the news that Vick has re-signed with Nike. While there will certainly be backlash and plenty of people who accuse Nike of forgiving a criminal too quickly, the move is sure to be a home run from a business standpoint. Kids still want to be like Michael Vick. He’s the new generation quarterback that all young athletes aspire to be, regardless of his troubles off the field. Sure, there will be parents who won’t allow their kids to purchase Michael Vick gear, but there will be plenty of others who turn their cheek and plenty of teenagers who don’t give a damn.
If Nike waited too long to re-sign Vick, someone else would have swooped in. Whether you believe in second chances or not, there’s no denying Vick’s post-prison life is coming full circle. H/T to Pro Football Talk for the story.