No, no — this wasn't your quintessential revelation of the results of an NFL player poll. This is Mike Freeman, dubbed CBS Sports "National NFL Insider," shooting from the hip. (And probably Swiss cheesing that "Insider" access by virtue of the shots he took at a fistful of NFLers.)
"This question was put to Twitter: does Vick deserve to be forgiven for what were atrocities against defenseless animals? Hundreds of responses came in and it was overwhelming there are still a great many people who haven't forgiven Vick for actions of his own making.
"But that is the question: When is Vick allowed to move on? When is that threshold from criminal to forgiven criminal crossed? To some, it already has. But to many, like me, though it's clear that Vick has changed, the crime was so disgraceful, more time is still needed to make sure the change I've seen in him is not an act but permanent. There's almost a simple formula here to follow. The worse the crime, the more time it takes for the re-evaluation.
"This is an arrogant approach for me and others, particularly since everyone judging Vick has made their own errors. But there are mistakes and then there are mistakes. For Vick, it will still take more time."
Again, that's according to Freeman, who, according to Freeman, is knowingly and enjoyably arrogant.
Vick is spending his Monday at the NFL's rookie symposium today.
Writes Freeman, on Jackson:
"Benched in fourth quarter of a game last year. Benched for missing team meeting. Celebrates before scoring. More than once. Mad talented, crazy fast, super smart and a jerk.
"This will be an interesting situation to watch. The Eagles just rewarded Jackson with a long-term deal. Historically, jerks don't handle this kind of thing well. Jerks are to fat contracts what a Kardashian is to … oh, never mind. Jackson also is now the CEO of a rap label called Jaccpot Records. Nothing wrong with that. The problem, as always with a situation like this, is money. Someone has to fund this venture and it will probably be Jackson. Athletes funding their own business ventures never go wrong, right? And speaking of broke jerks."
(That link takes you to a running history of the unsuccessful travails of Curt Schilling.)
Again: This top 10, and justification for each entry on it, is all per Freeman. Meaning: This isn't what the players or coaches or front-offices think of Vick. Not what a united journalistic community thinks of him. Not what any salty, snarky, sarcastic blog thinks of him. Just Mike Freeman, of CBS Sports.
We're not going to argue the merits of Freeman's observations. Just that said observations all come from way too far a distance to really build the case for the titles he's assigning.
"Jerks"? Guess so. "Guys Who Maybe Don't Handle Themselves As Professionally As They Should" probably isn't as good for CPM.
UPDATE: Turns out, Freeman doesn't exactly have a cottage atop moral high ground. Dude was fired from the Indianapolis Star shortly after his hire when the paper found out that he lied on his resume about his credentials. Pretty fundamental stuff, insofar as building job credentials goes. Said he graduated from UDel. Funny thing about that– he didn't.
From the Sports Business Journal, timestamped Jan. 12, 2004.
What's that? Credibility issues? No…
You can read more from Matt Hammond on his blog, ThoughtsInPassing.com.