Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick told Philly.com Friday that he would be getting a group of guys together, including a few non-Eagles, for some informal workouts to stay sharp during the lockout.
It sounds like a great idea on the surface, but Vick is taking an enormous personal risk.
Because of the lockout, any workouts held right now are not sanctioned by the league. Therefore, should a player get injured during one of these informal workouts that have become popular as of late, the team could very easily slap that player on Reserve/Non-football injury list once the lockout is lifted and get out of paying said player a dime.
For guys with a long-term deal in place, losing an entire season’s pay would be bad, but not crippling. For Vick, an injury during one of these workouts could mean the end of his career and put his entire life in a real bind.
Vick currently is signed to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $16 million. That guarantee, however, goes out the window if he injures himself off company time. Should Vick tear up a knee and have to miss the entire season, he would have to start all over at square one in 2012 at 32 years old with a bum knee and a lot to prove.
If his career survived the injury and he could get healthy again, he would have to settle for a deal that could wind up looking worse than the one he initially signed with the Eagles after being released from prison.
That would still mean a ton of money, but nothing compared to what the Eagles are poised to give him assuming this worst-case scenario doesn’t come to fruition.
And for Vick, losing all that money could mean decades of financial woes. Last report I can recall, Vick still owed roughly $20 million to creditors from his dog-fighting days. That’s after about $7.2 million was already garnished from Vick last season and dished out to his creditors.
Needless to say, this is a pay-day Vick desperately needs.
I know most fans will take an apathetic stance to all this, but it’s worth noting the risk he’s taking by doing anything right now. It shows he truly cares about this team and perfecting his craft, and is just another sign that this is not the same Vick from pre-2007.
It’s also worth noting that DeSean Jackson, who has repeatedly voiced his displeasure with his contract, has already declined to take part in these workouts.