A recent issue of ESPN The Magazine posed the question "What if Michael Vick were white?" The article, penned by Toure, accompanied an artist's rendering of a caucasian Vick. It proved that Vick is still a flashpoint for controversy and that the issue of race continues to linger in the subtext of many sports conversations.
Regardless of whether one agreed or disagreed with Toure's article, there is breaking news that may answer his query, at least in part.
Whether Vick were white, black or any other race, it's hard to imagine the Philadelphia Eagles offering the 31-year-old more money to play quarterback. According to Andrew Brandt, a frequent blogger at The Huffington Post as well as the President of the National Football Post, the Eagles and Vick have agreed on a six-year $100 million contract extension, which is more money (although with one more year) than Peyton Manning was able to get just a few weeks ago. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed Brandt's report on Twitter, adding that the deal includes $40 million in guarantees.
Breaking: Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract.
VIck's lucrative new pact comes on the heels of a stellar 2010 season that earned him Comeback Player of the Year honors. That resurgent '10 season began just over a year after Vick was released from prison after 19 months spent behind bars for his dogfighting conviction. Before his role in a dogfighting ring was exposed, Vick had been one of the most electric players in the NFL during his six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
After being away from the game for so long during his incarceration, there were doubts that Vick would ever regain the explosiveness that made him a star. There were also those who felt that no team should even give him the chance to find out if he could. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Vick despite having Donovan McNabb ensconced atop the depth chart at quarterback and an heir apparent in Kevin Kolb. Needless to say, their gamble was rewarded.
McNabb and Kolb have subsequently been traded while Vick played at as high a level last season as he ever did. In fact, he may have been even better than he was during the first act of his career in Atlanta. The piece de resistance of Vick's gridiron redemption was a six-touchdown effort during a Monday Night Football Game against the Washington Redskins. That breathtaking and record-breaking effort on national television left little doubt that Vick must once again be considered among the game's elite.
And, now, he's being paid like it.
Previously, the Eagles placed the NFL's franchise tag on Vick after the conclusion of last season, and before that he had signed a two-year deal worth $6.8 million. This new extension is not the first $100 million deal inked by Vick. In 2004, he signed a 10-year pact with the Falcons worth a staggering $130 million. At the time, it was the richest deal in NFL history. Coincidentally, that deal also followed one that Manning had signed with the Colts. Manning's '04 deal was worth $98 million.
Enrico, of noted Philadelphia sports website The 700 Level, perhaps best summed up the only color that matters concerning Vick right now.
What if Mike Vick's cash wasn't green?