Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about Michael Vick's new deal:
SI.com's Peter King writes that Vick's extension shows the Eagles think he's responsible, and he points out that Vick worked with Ravens backup quarterback and Virginia Tech product Tyrod Taylor in the offseason:
Vick told Taylor that when the lockout ended he had to be ready to step into a practice huddle with the Ravens and call plays confidently. "When the lockout's over,'' Vick would say, "You've got to go in and call the plays like you know them. There's not going to be any excuses.'' Because Taylor had been exposed to the Baltimore offense from offseason exposure to Ravens veterans, he had an idea of what the offense was, and what the terminology was, and Vick told him during every workout to make sure he did his homework on the Ravens' plays. And Vick would throw basic NFL concepts at him, like how to call protections and how to recognize certain blitzes and how to be sure to go through his progressions on a pass read.
When I was in Ravens' camp, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told me: "This Tyrod Taylor could be special. He could be an incredible story. He's come in and done a good job of understanding what we do.''
Cameron told me that day, "Michael Vick's a part of that story. Wait and see.''
Ashley Fox of ESPN.com writes that now we'll find out what motivates Vick:
It is one thing to climb back up the mountain, quite another to prosper there, and with money now in his pocket, we will be able to see what really motivates Vick. Is it simply money and fame? Or is there more to it? Does he really want to win it all, to lead the franchise that gave him a chance where they so desperately want to go: the podium, next to Roger Goodell, for the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy?
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com says Vick's redemption is nearly complete:
There are still a great many people who despise Vick. That's fine. Go ahead. My dog will never forgive him, either. Yet there is a part of this story that is truly stunning. A huge fall followed by a windfall. In many ways, despite the hatred many still have for Vick, he's an American story. An ugly fall from grace due to some ugly actions and a return.
So here we are. The next act of The Mike Vick Saga complete. The first act was the discovery, the second the crime, the third the comeback.
SI.com's Don Banks says the Eagles better protect their investment:
One word of caution seems entirely appropriate: Vick's play before 2010 at times left us breathless as well, but he has been a 16-game starter just once in his first eight NFL seasons. At 31, he may be better than ever, but he's not an indestructible quarterbacking machine. He can't keep getting hit like he did against Cleveland last Thursday night. The Eagles had best protect their big investment, in any number of ways, on any number of fronts.
Vick might have gotten paid like a top-five quarterback, but Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says he doesn't belong in that group yet:
We all know the guy is one of the game's difference makers -- someone who can beat you with his arm or legs -- but he needs to be known as a winner, too. He's been to one conference championship game and has three playoff appearances, but he's 2-3 overall. Plus, when you talk about Vick the conversation inevitably starts with his running, and why not? His 11 100-yard performances are an NFL record for quarterbacks. That's great, but it's not how you win at this level.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com says even though he's a cynic, he believes Vick has changed:
Eagles coach Andy Reid is a big believer in Vick. And people do change. And Vick seems to have done that, which is nice to see.
This is one instance where sitting in a jail cell pondering life might actually have helped him in the long run.
He truly looks like a changed man.
Even a cynic like me can see that.
To make the Eagles look smart, Vick has to deliver a Super Bowl, writes Steve Wyche of NFL.com:
The Eagles have cast their lot with Vick. The comfort he's feeling financially soon will turn into pressure to win. That pressure has nothing to what Vick has been through in his young life, but it's pressure nonetheless. Philadelphia has stacked (and paid) its roster, and winning is the only option.
If the Eagles don't reach the Super Bowl, then they will have paid dearly -- and not in a good way.
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