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Will $100 Million Contract Change Michael Vick?

The Michael Vick redemption story is almost complete. Maybe all that’s missing is an MVP or Super Bowl ring, both of which will be extremely difficult to obtain.

Seven years after signing the richest contract in NFL history — a ridiculous 10-year $130 million deal — Michael Vick has reportedly agreed to a six-year $100 million contract with the Eagles. It’s his second $100 million deal which is astounding given the short lifespan of NFL players. How many players are good enough to sign such a rich deal? How many players are good enough to command a second mega contrat seven years later? Only a special player could receive that type of honor, but with Michael Vick, nothing comes without extreme risk.

Vick put together an MVP-type season last year for the Eagles and played better than ever. He used his running skills as his usual weapon, but his passing ability completely changed. He was accurate, patient, and dynamic. He was the most dangerous player in the league last year. The Eagles are wagering a reported $40 million on Vick (guaranteed money), believing he’ll be just as good as he was last year for the next few seasons. I’m wondering if he’ll be the same guy.

There are two ways I think Vick can be changed. One, his work ethic might differ. When he was released from prison, Vick had creditors to pay off and needed to earn money to relieve his debts. He had his bankruptcy plan to fulfill and had to work hard to earn money so he could pay those people. Now that he’s back on top of the world, with all this money in his lap, will he be as hungry to succeed? You want to say he will, but given what he did last time after signing a monstrous contract you have to wonder if his main source of motivation is the desire to make money or to be a great player.

The second way Vick might change is his quarterbacking style. Vick is already 31 years old, so a six-year deal will pay him until he’s 37. We’ve seen quarterbacks play at a high level during their 30s, so it’s entirely possible Vick will be able to. The difference is Vick’s running ability makes him dangerous. If he’s trying to protect himself because of the contract, he might not run as much, and therefore he won’t be as dangerous. While Vick has spoken about consciously taking better care of himself on the field to avoid injury, I think football is just an instinctual game. In other words, it will be hard to break his running habits (and maybe not even worth it).

Vick proved last year he is a great player. He certainly earned the millions he was going to receive from the franchise tag this season. But with all the questions surrounding his character, he’s not a player to whom I’d give a six-year $100 million deal. What about you?


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