On March 21st, Michael Vick signed a $5 million, one year contract with the New York Jets. Yesterday the big pay-day was put in jeopardy after a dog running loose in his New Jersey neighborhood, ironically of a pit bull breed, attacked the quarterback and caused extensive muscle damage to his right leg, which doctors say will keep him from playing football in 2014.
A clause in his contract states that if he is unable to perform at all during the 2014 season due to injury outside of football, he stands to lose up to 85% of the $5 million.
“We certainly hope Mike recovers more quickly than expected and is able to play but according to team physicians it looks highly unlikely,” said team publicist Bryan Welch.
Vick served 18 months of a 23 month sentence for operating a dog fighting ring in 2009. The case was very high-profile and received massive media attention due to the fighting, torture, and executions of pit bulls at the hands of Vick. He missed two complete NFL seasons, and was released by the Atlanta Falcons in August of 2009, making him a free agent. Vick eventually signed with the Philadelphia Eagles where he played until last season. Vick signed the one year deal with the New York Jets in March.
Some are calling Vick’s unfortunate incident poetic justice, such as Jets fan Carmine Vinotossi of Brooklyn, New York.
“He got what he deserved. I am a Jets fan, born and raised since I was 1-year-old, and I was sick the day the Jets announced they hired this bum as a quarterback. $5 million for one year? Give me a break,” said Vinotossi. “What were they thinking, these guys? It looks like karma got it all sorted out now. God is, in fact, a Jets fan.”
It is reported that the dog that attacked Vick was, coincidentally, part of a liter of puppies that had come from an animal shelter that housed dogs from Vick’s dog-fighting ring. The owner, who says that his dog, L.T., which is named after New York Giants’ great Lawerence Taylor, is an extremely loving dog, and will play with the neighborhood children. He has never shown the slightest bit of aggression to anyone prior to the attack.
“L.T. is a super sweet dog,” said owner Aaron Silver. “He loves kids, he loves other dogs. We even have a cat that he sleeps next to every night. When he saw [Vick] walking down the street, it was the first time I’d ever seen any anger in him. I think he could sense Vick’s history, and he knew they had bad ties. I think it was L.T.’s way of getting one back for his family.”
Per state law, dogs that are responsible for an attack are automatically put down. According to police reports after the attack, the dog was actually returned to his owner per request of Vick.
“Mike feels like this was his chance to give a second chance to a pit bull, and that God himself caused the attack as a form of payback,” said a friend. “He got a second chance at life, why shouldn’t this dog?”