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Vick, Eagles agree to deal
Michael Vick is returning to professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he'll team with a widely respected owner, coaching staff and quarterback.
ESPN first reported the contractual agreement Thursday evening, and two sources close to Vick confirmed the deal to the Daily Press.
An all-star quarterback for Warwick High, Virginia Tech and the Atlanta Falcons, Vick has not played football since 2006. He served 18 months in jail on a federal conspiracy charge related to a dogfighting ring and was suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
Under the terms of his recent reinstatement, Vick is eligible to practice immediately. He can participate in the Eagles' final two preseason games, Aug. 27 at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Sept. 3 at the New York Giants.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to finalize when Vick can play during the regular season. He is set to decide by mid-October at the latest.
If Goodell keeps Vick sidelined until then, Vick could make his regular-season debut with Philadelphia in a Monday night contest Oct. 26 at the Washington Redskins, the closest NFL stadium to the Peninsula. In another scheduling quirk, the Eagles play at Vick's former team, the Falcons, on Dec. 6.
Vick is in Philadelphia and could conduct a news conference as early as today. He taped an interview earlier this week to air Sunday on "60 Minutes."
Fox Sports reported that Vick signed a one-year contract worth $1.6 million with a team option for 2010 worth $5.2 million. The $1.6 million is more than twice the minimum salary for a player with Vick's tenure, but far shy of the $9 million he was scheduled to earn in 2009 with his record-setting Atlanta deal.
Vick, 29, has declared bankruptcy.
In the Eagles, Vick joins a franchise seemingly well-equipped to handle possible protests of his signing. Under owner Jeffrey Lurie's stewardship, the team is a perennial contender and last season advanced to the NFC championship game before losing to the Arizona Cardinals.
Incumbent quarterback Donovan McNabb is entering his 11th NFL season, all with Philadelphia. While leading Virginia Tech in 1999 and 2000, Vick often was compared to McNabb and expressed admiration of his talents. McNabb's alma mater, Syracuse, was among Vick's college finalists.
Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg are as established as McNabb. Reid is a two-time NFL coach of the year, and Mornhinweg runs a West Coast offense similar to what Vick used in Atlanta.
The Eagles have serviceable backup quarterbacks in veterans Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley, meaning they could deploy Vick as a receiver or kick returner. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Vick in his prime was considered the fastest quarterback in NFL history and is the only player at his position to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
Coincidentally, Vick's most recent NFL game was against Philadelphia, in the 2006 season finale. During Vick's first six years, few teams defended him as effectively as the Eagles, who won three of four games against the Falcons during that time.
Two of those victories came in the playoffs, including the NFC championship game of January 2005.