NFL Countdown: Michael Vick's story a cautionary tale of how fame can ruin a legendary career
We all know Michael Vick as one of the very first proper duel-threat quarterbacks in the NFL. His speed, agility and powerful arm made him one of the hardest quarterbacks to gameplan against.
Taken with the first pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, he started two games in his rookie season. He went 1-1 while throwing for 785 yards and two touchdowns along with three interceptions. He also rushed for 289 yards and a touchdown.
The following season, the quarterback's career took off. He started 15 games for the Falcons, going 8-6-1 and throwing for 2,936 yards, 16 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. It was also the first glimpse we got of his running ability as he finished the 2002 season with 777 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He was named an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler and came fourth in the MVP voting.
Vick came second in the MVP voting in 2004 as he led the Falcons to an 11-4 record, throwing for 2,313 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 902 yards and three touchdowns as he was the face of the league.
Vick's career takes a turn for the worst
In April 2007, Vick's property was searched by police and what was found would tarnish his career forever. There was evidence of a dog fighting ring on his property, and police found over 70 dogs during their search.
The quarterback, along with three other men, were charged with federal offense conspiracy. The quarterback spent 548 days behind bars, taking two years out of his NFL career. He also lost millions of dollars worth of endorsement deals.
'Bad Newz Kennels' was the dog fighting ring that Vick ran and he reportedly hosted unlawful gambling as well as drug activities.
Vick starts the comeback
In August 2009, Vick signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. The quarterback started one game that season as Donovan McNabb's back up.
In 2010, the duel-threat was named the starter by Andy Reid and his form suddenly took off. He was named an All-Pro and won Comeback Player of the Year. He threw for 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions in his 11 games, amassing an 8-3 record on the season.
He would spend three more years with the Eagles as he continued to showcase his supreme talent. In 2014, he signed with the Jets, but only lasted one season before signing with the Steelers. However, he again only lasted one season as he was a back-up.
In February of 2017, the quarterback officially announced his retirement from the NFL after a superb career. It was a redemption story of sorts as he returned from two years out of the game to pick up where he left off.
Unfortunately, his career is forever tarnished for his part in that dog fighting ring.