July 1 Philadelphia Inquirer
“This has gotten really simple. If the security video from Guadalajara restaurant contradicts anything Michael Vick told police, the Eagles, or the NFL about the night of his disastrously ill-conceived “birthday party,” the Eagles must cut ties with Vick immediately.
Not because that would prove Vick was involved with the shooting of his old pal and codefendant Quanis Phillips.
Not because it would mean Vick is likely to be suspended again by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Eagles must drop Vick because their owner, Jeffrey Lurie, set very high standards for the convicted dog killer’s continued employment with the team. For Lurie to have any credibility, he absolutely must hold Vick and the team to those standards.
Last August, after the Eagles’ shocking decision to sign the reinstated Vick, Lurie spoke with unprecedented candor and visible anguish during a news conference at the NovaCare Complex.
Lurie talked about his own disgust with Vick’s crimes, about his misgivings when coach Andy Reid proposed signing the former Atlanta quarterback. He talked about sitting down with Vick and looking into his eyes for signs of remorse and “self-hatred” for his actions. He said it wouldn’t be enough for Vick simply to refrain from causing trouble.
He had to do more. He had to be more.
“If I thought for one instance that this player would be disruptive or unable to be a good teammate and not become a role model, then there’s no way I would have allowed this to happen,” Lurie said. “If it becomes at all apparent that we are wrong, it won’t take very long to make that change.”
To be blunt, it has been apparent all along that the Eagles were wrong. Vick has not been some “agent for social change” (in Lurie’s words). He made a handful of uninspired appearances, telling children they shouldn’t get involved in dogfighting. Vick did little, if any more, than most players whose contracts call for a few such public appearances every season.
After the Eagles’ season ended, Vick did a couple of interviews that amounted to an unsuccessful campaign for a starting job elsewhere in the NFL. The rest of the league showed no interest, which was also true last summer.
To make things worse for themselves, the Eagles traded away Donovan McNabb, one of the league’s true model citizens. That leaves Vick as the only experienced alternative to young starter Kevin Kolb. That move looks pretty short-sighted about now.”
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