Michael Vick’s unconventional and controversial NFL career is over and now he will end it where it all began. In a conversation with 92.9 The Game in Atlanta last week, Vick said he hoped to have a conversation with the Atlanta Falcons about a one-day contract to retire with the team that drafted him with the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
That won’t happen, but Vick will get a send-off from Atlanta anyway. The Falcons announced Friday that both Vick and wide receiver Roddy White will be honored with a retirement ceremony on Monday, June 12.
“We do not need a contract in place to consider them a part of our family and honor their decision to retire as a Falcon,” said owner Arthur Blank.
Vick, 36, played six seasons with the Falcons, earning three trips to the Pro Bowl and once taking the team to the NFC Championship. But the good will all came crashing down when dogfighting charges landed him time in jail and an indefinite suspension from the NFL.
After two seasons away from the league, the Falcons released Vick in February 2009. He resurfaced with the Philadelphia Eagles and had brief stints with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers as a backup.
Vick wasn’t on a roster for the 2016 season, but made his return to the Georgia Dome for the Falcons’ Week 17 game — the last regular season game ever for the dome with Mercedes-Benz Stadium set to open for the 2017 season. He received a mostly positive reaction from the crowd that showed they had forgiven the quarterback in the decade since his arrest.
“One of the greatest moments of my life,” Vick told 92.9 The Game on Friday night. “It was better than coming out of the tunnel as a player and I know that says a lot. But through all the years and what I’ve been through and where this organization is now and how successful they are. To be able to come out while they were thriving and not just surviving made it even better.
“I don’t think I identify with any other team that I played with ... here’s where I made my home, here’s where I was drafted. I was a baby when I came into this league and I was molded into one of the best, premier players in the league and that was being under the right organization and under the right people who cared.”
Vick announced in February that he was officially retired, but doing it with the Falcons feels like a fitting end to a winding career.