PHILADELPHIA // The Philadelphia Eagles are strongly considering releasing Michael Vick, their controversial quarterback, according to a source close to the team, following a new scandal. The source claims the team might cut Vick no matter what police conclude during their investigation of a shooting that followed his birthday celebration in Virginia Beach last week.
The person spoke to The Associated Press early yesterday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Vick has said he had nothing to do with the shooting. He also said he reported the incident to the Eagles and to the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. Goodell told the former Atlanta Falcons player, after reinstating him last season, that his margin for error was "extremely limited."
Vick is entering his second season with the Eagles and is due to earn US$5.2 million (Dh19m). A three-time Pro Bowl pick, Vick is Kevin Kolb's backup and the most experienced quarterback on the team following the trade of Donovan McNabb. The Eagles were heavily criticised by animal-rights activists for signing Vick last summer less than a month after he finished serving 18 months in federal prison for his role in a dogfighting operation.
Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles' owner, said he did serious "soul-searching" before agreeing to sign him. Vick was a model citizen off the field and in the locker room during his first season with the Eagles. He was popular among his teammates, who voted him winner of the team's courage award. But this latest incident could end up costing Vick his job, even if he is exonerated of any wrongdoing. Vick was expected to play a major role in Philadelphia's offence, running the wildcat formation. Instead, he was used sparingly. Vick completed six of 13 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown and ran for 95 yards and two scores. He tossed a 76-yard touchdown pass in a 34-14 loss to Dallas in the play-offs.