Michael Vick made a fool out of Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. The owner not only made Vick the highest paid player in the game, but he treated him like a son. That relationship came crashing down when Vick was convicted for orchestrating a dogfighting ring and sent to prison for two years.
Now, another owner is smitten with Vick and his remarkable comeback story. No matter how you feel about the man's crime, it's impossible to deny his brilliance on the field this season. And that's why Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie will look past all the baggage and make Vick an incredibly wealthy man -- even after the quarterback pays off his enormous financial debt.
Lurie talked about Vick on Thursday for the first time since he'd been named the starting quarterback. He declined to address Vick's contract status (he's a free agent after the season), but it's pretty easy to read between the lines:
"The biggest thing I learned about Michael was what a dedicated worker he has become," Lurie told the Inquirer's Ashley Fox. "We always knew he was extremely talented, but watching the Falcons, I never thought he put it all together because there were inconsistencies. There were weaknesses in his game.
"He is so dedicated to harnessing that amazing, God-given talent in a much-better way now. So the hard work and the dedication and what a great teammate he is, that's kind of what I've learned. And you just have to take it week by week, month by month, and watch him evolve. It's a great thing to see."
And who can blame Lurie for crowing a little bit over his decision to sign Vick to a contract when teams weren't exactly standing in line for his services. I don't think Lurie is as close to Vick as Blank was, but he certainly is a huge fan. With a potential lockout looming, it will be interesting to see how the Eagles handle negotiations with Vick.
President Joe Banner and GM Howie Roseman have been very proactive with star players in the past, although you might not want to run that statement past DeSean Jackson right now.
Eagles' former star quarterback Donovan McNabb has a brand new contract. I think their current star won't be that far behind.