Atlanta Falcons announce Michael Vick contract extension
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From the Atlanta Falcons Website: The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have
extended the contract of Pro Bowl QB Michael Vick. Terms of the
contract were not disclosed.
|Michael Vick chats with reporters
after signing a long-term contract extension with the Falcons
"This is a terrific day for Michael, for Atlanta Falcons
fans, and for the entire Falcons organization," said team owner and
CEO Arthur Blank. "We've said on numerous occasions that this franchise
is committed to bringing a world championship to the city of Atlanta
and the state of Georgia, as well as to building a sustainable winning
organization consistently in the hunt. Today's contract extension for
Michael, in our opinion, moves us closer to achieving these goals.
"Michael is arguably the NFL's most exciting football
player. He's a tremendous competitor, a winner, and an outstanding
young man who is well deserving of this extension," Blank continued.
"History shows that great teams that are able to win over long periods
of time are anchored by tremendous quarterbacks. Coupled with the
coaching staff, front office, and players we have in place, as well as
the players we will add in the future, we feel our team is
well-positioned for long-term success."
"Our object will always be centered and focused on
keeping together our core players and clearly Michael Vick is one of
those players," said Falcons president and general manager Rich
McKay, who orchestrated Vick's contract extension.
"At a relatively early stage in his career, Michael has
established himself as one of the best players at his position and that
is very hard to do. Arthur (Blank) has made it clear to me that he will
do whatever it takes to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta,
and extending Michael's contract is obviously an important piece of
that pursuit. From a football standpoint, we're always going to be
looking for ways of improving our team, and when you have an
exceptional guy who plays the pivot position, known in football as the
quarterback, you're going to have a chance to be very successful year
in and year out."
Michael Vick, 6-0, 215 pounds, was chosen by the Falcons with
the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. The
Falcons made a trade with the San Diego Chargers on the eve of the
draft in order to acquire the pick to draft Vick. The NFL's
fifth-winningest active starting quarterback (minimum 35 starts) with a
.671 winning percentage, Vick's play has been a vital component for the
Falcons, who have now secured two playoff berths in the last three
With a style of play which cannot be completely measured
by statistics, Vick's unique combination of athleticism and instinct
has contributed to him being one of the NFL's most recognizable
superstars despite being only 24 years of age.
Vick was named to his second Pro Bowl for his performance during the 2004 season, which to date has included
2,278 yards passing and 889 yards rushing, along with 16 combined
touchdowns (13 passing and 3 rushing).
Vick's 889 rushing yards this season currently rank him
third on the NFL's all-time list for the most rushing yards by a
quarterback. He needs 80 more yards to break Chicago Bears' QB Bobby Douglass'
32-year-old record of 968 yards set in 1972. Vick's rushing total
includes three 100-yard games in 2004, which ties the single-season
modern day record for the most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback.
His 104 yards rushing in the Falcons 14-10 win over the New York Giants
on November 21 gave him the fifth 100-yard rushing game of his career,
the most for a quarterback in NFL history. Twice named the NFC
Offensive Player of the Week in 2004, Vick became the first player ever
to throw for more than 250 yards and rush for more than 100 yards in
the same game in the Falcons 41-28 victory over Denver on October 31.
In his first full season as a starter in 2002, Vick led
the Falcons to a 9-6-1 record, enabling them to earn a playoff berth as
a Wild Card entry. In the NFC Wild Card Game at frigid Lambeau Field,
the Falcons made history in becoming the first team ever to defeat the
Green Bay Packers in a home playoff game.
Vick's 2002 season culminated with him being named to
the NFC's Pro Bowl squad, making him - at 22 years, seven months and
seven days - the second-youngest quarterback (Dan Marino, 22 years,
four months, 14 days) ever selected to play in the game. The Pro Bowl
honor came on the heels of a season in which Vick set four NFL records
and five team records as a first-year starter. As a passer, Vick's 2002
statistics included a 55-percent completion rate (231-of-421 passes)
for 2,936 yards and a two-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio
(16-8). Vick did not throw an interception until the first quarter of
the season's eighth game at Baltimore.
What separated Vick from the rest of the NFL's
quarterbacks was what he could do with his legs as he finished the 2002
campaign with 777 yards, the third-highest total for a quarterback at
the time (since surpassed by his 889 yards this season). Vick's play
was the catalyst during an eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1) in the
middle of the 2002 season, which culminated with a 30-24 overtime
victory at Minnesota. Against the Vikings, Vick set single-game NFL
records for the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 173 yards and
the highest single-game rushing average (17.3 yards per carry). His
46-yard touchdown run in overtime capped off a game in which he
combined for 325 yards in total offense (173 rushing, 152 passing) and
three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing).
In 2003, a broken right fibula suffered in the second
preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens sidelined Vick for the
first 11-plus games of the regular season. Vick made his first start of
2003 in the season's 13th game against the Carolina Panthers. Despite
more than three months of inactivity, Vick accounted for 320 (179
passing, 141 rushing) of the Falcons 380 yards in total offense,
including the second 100-yard rushing game of his career (14-141) as
the Falcons upset the eventual NFC Champion Panthers 20-14 in overtime.
Vick would eventually lead the Falcons to a 3-1 record
over the last four games of the season, including a 30-28 victory over
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which snapped a six-game losing streak to the