The New York Jets signed Michael Vick to a one year, $5 million contract to compete with/backup Geno Smith on Friday immediately after cutting Mark Sanchez. Vick has a familiarity with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s offense while they were both in Philadelphia together, and he has a similar skill set to Geno Smith, so the offense would not have to change no matter the quarterback. He has durability concerns as well as being prone to turnovers but nothing compared to Sanchez’s final two years. If you want to read a good article on the football reasons against bringing in Vick, here is one from our own Alan Schechter which you can read here.
Football reasons are not why the fan base is fractured on the signing of Vick. In 2007, Michael Vick was found guilty of federal dogfighting charges for his bankrolling and involvement with Bad News Kennels, which included the dogfighting itself as well as horrific accounts of killing underperforming dogs by extraordinary means such as electrocution and drowning. He was sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison which was above the sentencing guidelines included in his plea deal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution estimated that Vick had lost $142 million dollars as a result of his crimes including $72 million in salary, $50 million in endorsements and $20 million of bonuses he had to pay back to the Falcons. Vick had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2008. All information gathered from an ESPN.com article entitled “Apologetic Vick gets 23-month sentence on dogfighting charges” from December 11, 2007.
The Senate Congressional Record from February 14, 2002 says this about felons released from prison after serving their sentence:
Whatever the procedure is, however the person has been adjudicated by the criminal justice system, once that person has served the sentence and is out of jail, once that person has served probation or parole, as far as the criminal justice system that individual has paid their debt to society. (United States of America Congressional Record, February 14, 2002)