When news broke on Monday night that Michael Vick had signed a six-year deal worth $100 million, it ignited a firestorm of stories about the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback. In some, he was celebrated for regaining his place among the game's top players. In others, he was derided for the crimes that forced him away from the field for so long.
When it came to this controversial figure, it seemed the only thing that everyone could agree on was that Vick was going to get paid $100 million.
Well, it turns out that those financial figures may have also been the only thing that everyone got wrong.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reports that Vick's deal is really only for five years as the sixth year is voided if he completes more than 35% of the team's snaps in any year of the deal. That brings the deals total value down to $80 million. On Twitter, ProFootballTalk went as far as to decry the deal as "phony."
It's a phony ploy to make it look like a $100 million contract when it's an $80 million contract.
After looking deeper at the monies likely to be paid out over each year of the contract, Andrew Brandt blogged for Huffington Post Sports that this deal, worked out by the Eagles and Vick's agent Joel Segal, comes in beneath those of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady while being comparable to those inked by Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
That's certainly not too shabby, but it's not headline fodder quite like that originally reported deal.
In fact, the media may have been so in love with the $100 million storyline that they were slow to report the full details of the deal. At least, that's more or less the question that ProFootballTalk posed its followers.
Is ESPN ignoring the fact that Mike Vick's deal isn't worth $100 million in order to sell more of those all-Mike-Vick ESPN magazines?
The contract extension comes shortly after ESPN The Magazine published a controversial article entitled "What if Michael Vick where White?" by Toure, whose latest book Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? hits stores in a few weeks. Florio seems to be suggesting that perhaps ESPN was not in a rush to report the more pedestrian details of the deal because of the sensational synergy between their magazine piece and the reported $100 million pact.
If this were the case then nobody got that memo to PTI host Mike Wilbon who lambasted his colleagues at ESPN, and throughout the media, for referring to Vick's new deal as being worth the inflated amount.
Prominent among those who would have liked to believe that the original reports were true would be Vick's creditors, who are still seeking to recover millions of dollars from financial woes stemming to the dogfighting arrest and the dissolution of his last and seemingly only) $100 million contract.
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