Love it or hate it, the Eagles and Michael Vick have agreed to remain together for at least the next few years.
The team agreed on a six-year, $100-million contract (about $40 million guaranteed) with Vick late Monday.
On Tuesday Vick and head coach Andy Reid sat down with reporters to discuss the marriage, the money and the goals for the future.
“I just want to thank this organization for the opportunity and the common goal is to bring that ring back to the city of Philadelphia and that’s what we’re working for… I look forward to spending the next six years with you all.”
Vick, who signed with the Eagles in 2009 to be a third-string QB after being away from the game for two years while he dealt with the legal process and then imprisonment for his role in a dogfighting ring, was grateful to the Eagles for giving him a shot in turning his life around.
“I always wanted to commit myself to change, especially in the last two years, and I was able to do that. It’s led to this point -- to where I’m at in my life -- being a happy man first as well as a satisfied football player,” a thankful Vick said.
Vick, who is now the third-highest paid player in the NFL, proceeded to thank all the people in his life from mentor Tony Dungy to his family to the Eagles organization to Reid for helping him become the man and player that he is.
“To this day they’ve still been a major asset in my life, my everyday thinking, just treating me as a man -- not telling me what I want to hear but telling me what I need to hear. I think that’s made a big contribution to my life and to my way of thinking.”
Vick not only gave praise thanks but got some from Reid.
“We can’t be happier as an organization,” Reid said. “We are very excited with this signing.
“This is a great story all the way through. This is really what America's all about -- second chance and Mike took full advantage of that. And then when he was given a second chance to start in the National Football League, he took full advantage of that and turned it into this.”
The Eagles must be excited with what Vick did in 2010. In just 12 games (11 starts), Vick passed for 3,018 yards while completing nearly 63 percent of his passes and tossing 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Vick also added 676 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs.
That performance along with Vick’s community work -- speaking out against dogfighting -- and his quiet leadership made this deal happen.
“It's a lot of money, however you look at it,” Vick said. “Obviously, it's going to create a lot of demands. I know what comes along with it, and I know how to handle it. But it's not even about the money. It's about the changes that have been made in my life. Kids have an opportunity to see that you should never count yourself out.
“But at the same time, don't put yourself in a position where you've got to make a miraculous comeback. That's not what it's about.”
It's also about paying back Vick's creditors. The 31-year-old likely needs to play until at least 2014 to start seeing the full value of the deal. Much of the value of the deal during the next couple of seasons will go to paying off his bankruptcy debts, reports CNBC's Darren Rovell.
Some of Vick’s teammates spoke to his leadership in the locker room Tuesday.
“It shows how much confidence they have in Mike and the leadership that he’s shown,” said running back LeSean McCoy. “With the support, it shows that the franchise, players, coaches, and everybody is behind him 100 percent.”
“He’s done a great job and he’s done a lot to overcome all of the things that have been going on,” said defensive end Trent Cole.
Vick might be locked up now but his No. 1 weapon, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, remains disgruntled with his contract. It remains to be seen if the Eagles find a way to extend Jackson’s deal before the season begins.