So Michael Vick will be spending twenty-three months in jail for promoting and funding a dogfighting ring. Let’s get right to it: will he ever play the game of professional football again?
While he played, Vick had profound athletic talent, making him one of the most agile and aggressive quarterbacks in recent years (if not the most accurate). He could have easily made his bones as a running back or a tight end. If he keeps up his conditioning while, erm, in prison, there’s no reason he couldn’t start again.
But two years out of the game is a long time. It’s one of the longest sentences handed out to a football player anyone’s cared about in recent history. Will the NFL forgive, or has the door slammed on Vick’s career?
Let’s take a look at some other convicts whom the NFL has embraced again:
Tank Johnson: Suspended eight games for misdemeanor firearms possession, Tank has since found a new home with the Dallas Cowboys. He put up three solo tackles and one sack against the Giants and has failed to make headlines since.
Chris Henry: The Bengals didn’t share the Bears’ issues with keeping their prodigal son in the fold – Henry suited up the first game he was free and caught for 99 yards against the Ravens. Not bad for providing minors with alcohol, eh?