Did NFL force Vick to sign with Eagles in '09?

Michael Vick initially didn't want to sign with the Eagles back in 2009. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

Update: Here is the full article on GQ's Web site.

From earlier:

The Eagles surprised the NFL two summers ago when they signed Michael Vick out of prison.

Now, he's the face of their franchise and the quarterback they're counting on to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

But Vick initially wanted to play elsewhere and didn't see the appeal of playing behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

That's what he told Will Leitch in a GQ article, scheduled to be released on Wednesday morning (excerpts released on Deadspin).

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options." 

Those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."

This is interesting on a couple of different fronts. For starters, the article says Goodell and other NFL reps "convinced" Vick to sign with the Eagles. But does that mean they blocked him from signing with the Bills or Bengals?

The Bills have gone 10-22 the past two seasons. And the Bengals have gone 14-18. While Buffalo has not had a quarterback, the Bengals had Carson Palmer, so it seems unlikely that they would have just handed the starting job over to Vick.

We also have no idea what kind of quarterback Vick would have been with those teams. Would he have become the same player he is today? Doubtful. But who knows?

When Vick signed with the Eagles, he wanted a one-year deal, but the Birds insisted on two. And that decision obviously paid off for them.

Leitch also revisited Vick's past - dogfighting, prison, etc. He asked Vick about people not understanding where he comes from:

"Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is. Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know." 

I ask Vick if he feels that white people simply don't understand that aspect of black culture. "I think that's accurate," he says. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."

The link above has more excerpts.

Meanwhile, I had a couple Jeremy Maclin posts earlier Wednesday:

His value to the offense
How his return affects the WR situation

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