And just like that, Mike Vick is back in the NFL.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed controversial quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year contract after their regular backup QB Bruce Gradkowski suffered an injury that required him to have surgery.
Vick is entering his 13th season in the NFL and was selected with the first overall selection by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft from Virginia Tech.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Michael Vick met and worked out with the Steelers on Tuesday.
Vick appeared in 10 games with the New York Jets last year. He completed 52.9 percent of his passes for 604 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
He even started against the Steelers last year and came away with a victory even though that Steelers team was heavily favored.
According to Schefter, Gradkowski’s finger injury will require surgery and have him out of action for an extended period of time, which is why the Steelers were looking at at Vick to begin with.
Vick is eight years removed from going to prison for dogfighting and by all accounts has been reformed ever since his prison stint, through charity work, doing PSAs, and basically keeping his nose clean. But to many Steeler fans, he is still despised for those heinous acts committed against dogs all those years ago although he has already paid society’s price for his sins.
And these Steeler fans definitely aren’t shy at showing their displeasure with the team.
On Facebook, close to 6,000 people have joined the group “Pittsburghers Against Michael Vick,” and thousands more have signed a Change.org petition to “say no to Michael Vick.”
Saying “no” to Mike Vick may all be a moot point anyway because if all goes well for the team, Vick won’t see any time on the field anyway because Big Ben is firmly entrenched as the starter. Vick’ll be lucky just to get some mop up duty every now and then. He’ll clearly be riding the pine and this signing was an insurance signing.
Ben Roethlisberger, whose love of dogs and gifts of K-9s to police departments has been well documented, doesn’t see a problem with the signing.
“For me, it’s about any way, any person, anything that can help this team, and if that’s Michael Vick, then so be it,” says Roethlisberger.
Only time will tell if Vick is a good fit for the Steelers. But one thing for sure is that he doesn’t seem to be a fit with all Steeler fans at this moment.