Not more than a few minutes after Howard Eskin’s autocorrect had the Eagles signing Isaac Spooky (Sopoaga), Eskin tweeted the Eagles' next signing, cornerback Bradley Fletcher. Michael Vick was… well, he doesn’t know who that is:
Upcoming book signings by Michael Vick at three Barnes and Nobles locations, including one in Exton, have been canceled following multiple death and dismemberment threats to Vick on Facebook and by phone.
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances. We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities.”
“I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals.”
“I would snap your neck if I met you, your a piece of trash.”
“We should push your daughter into a pool with a battery.”
“When I see you, I’m going to bash your head in.”
A spokesperson for Vick told Action News last night that the threats have increased over the past week…
"He's obviously concerned about it. He's concerned about it. You know, Mike is committed to working with the community, to talking with kids, to getting them to make positive decisions in their lives and he's going to continue to do that.”
"We had an uptick in the number of threats that were made against Michael Vick, as well as his family. The threats were made against the bookstore property, as well as bookstore employees.”
Last Monday, I posted pictures of Vick with his dog, a Belgian Malinois, at a New Jersey PetSmart. Those pictures went everywhere – from TMZ to the New York Post to Jimmy Kimmel – and they appear to be the cause of the most recent threats, something that, obviously, wasn’t the intended outcome. I left out the exact location of the PetSmart to prevent this very sort of thing.
Death threats on the Internet are nothing new, however. I imagine just about every celebrity or athlete gets them. I have, too. For Vick, it’s certainly nothing new, but there’s obviously been enough of an increase to scare him, his publisher, and perhaps more importantly, Barnes and Noble and its employees. The latter may be the true driving force behind the cancellations. Here are the Facebook postings of two animal groups that were encouraging their members to call Barnes and Noble in Exton. Together, the two groups have over 15k likes:
No word on if Vick will still be in Atlanta on Saturday– he has another event scheduled in the evening. This one:
It's unknown whether Vick is or was planning on attending. Parties like this one, apparently coordinated by the ever goofy Marcus Vick, have used his Vick’s name for promotional purposes in the past, perhaps without knowledge to Vick himself. But judging by the “in conjunction with V7” (Vick’s brand) line and the fact that Vick was scheduled to be in Atlanta, we’ll assume that he was planning on stopping by.
In case you missed it, Jimmy Kimmel had some fun with our Michael Vick dog training pictures last night. After the CB logo splashed across the screen – in front of the millions annnnd millions of Kimmel’s viewers – Jimmy (first name basis) explained how he enjoyed our protecting of the innocent:
“Not only did they blur the person’s face, they blurred the dog’s face out, too. Just in case he doesn’t want to be associated with Michael Vick. And you don’t want to get sued by another dog.”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I got Costas and Seacrest on hold.
What kind? What sorts of training methods are being used? Is it SUCH A CUTE LITTLE BOY (OR GIRL)?
These were all questions to which we didn’t have answers.
A CB tipster, whose claims can be corroborated by severaltweeters, sent along a few photos of Vick that were taken at a New Jersey PetSmart*, where Vick, his family and a bodyguard have been attending dog training classes for Angel, the Vick family’s young Belgian Malinois (a type of Shepherd).
The tipster says that Vick frequents the store and signed up for a total of six training classes on Monday evenings, with this being the second week. The first picture was taken last week, and the following were taken this evening (Vick, or his account, actually tweeted during the class):
As a dog owner, it irks me to see Vick handling a puppy. I think when you get put in jail for killing dogs, your privilege to own one should be taken away. But, in a way, it’s refreshing to see that he is taking an actual interest in the dog’s well-being, and not in a way that’s for show– our tipster is in no way associated with Vick or his gaggle of unofficial PR handlers and image crafters.
No word on Vick's or Angel’s progress in the class… but we can confirm that she is SUCH A CUTE LITTLE GIRL (!!!)
*We left the specific store location out so that Vick and his dog can continue going to the classes in peace.
Here’s a screenshot, tweeted by the very silly Marcus Vick, for an apparently soon-to-be-released game (app?):
It's not hard to liken Coach Cline to, say, Chip Kelly, and you get the sense that the game will follow the trials of an aging, oft-maligned quarterback desperate to impress his new coach, who, ironically, probably won’t be all that impressed by an impressive lineup of branded products. So consider me not impressed. Mckayla, too.
*These are the sorts of posts you get on government holidays. Speaking of Holidays– Jrue was in the All-Star Game last night, and thus concludes our coverage of that.
The Eagles will once again have a mediocre quarterback in 2013. Maybe.
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Eagles have re-signed Michael Vick to a one-year deal for 2013. No word on the numbers, but you can bet that Vick will be paid less than the $16 million Vick was due this year under his original contract.
Chip Kelly has done his homework. He has studied enough of quarterback Michael Vick to think that Vick’s skill set can translate to what Kelly wants to do with this Eagles offense, and that’s why the Eagles and Vick have come to terms on a restructured contract for 2013 …
This is Chip Kelly’s team, and he has a vision for what he wants the Eagles to become. The vision revolves around the idea of competition at every position, and keeping Michael Vick for 2013 allows the Eagles to have a head start prior to free agency and the NFL draft.
The signing raises many questions, of course, and Kelly will answer them at his 1:30 p.m. press conference. Is Vick the guaranteed starter for 2013? What are the terms of the contract, which is reportedly a three-year deal? What kind of financial commitment did the Eagles make to Vick? What does this deal mean for what the Eagles think about Nick Foles, the second-year man who had some strong moments in his rookie season? Does this mean that the job comes down to Vick or Foles and that the Eagles won’t add a quarterback in free agency or the draft or even in a trade?
UPDATE: Jeff McLane reports that, technically, the Eagles and Vick re-structured a three-year deal, but the last two years will be voided on March 15.
This isn’t a huge surprise. Vick, when healthy, is an average quarterback, more than capable of running Kelly’s up-tempo offense. Foles never showed last year that he was ready to be a starter, and there aren’t many (any?) answers in the draft or free agency. Vick is a stopgap, a bridge to somewhere. I wrote the other day that he was probably the best option for the Eagles this season. That doesn’t mean he’s a good option, but he’s the best option. For now. There's still a chance that he doesn't make the team, but the new deal makes that more unlikely.
When Chip Kelly and his Big Balls (capitalized, out of respect) took the Eagles job, there was some conjecture among NFL writers and pundits that Michael Vick could return to the Eagles to run Kelly’s up-tempo offense.
Now, some additional evidence that it could happen.
Last night, Tim McManus, the best Eagles reporter on the planet, who has sources close to Vick, wrote the following on Philly Mag’s Eagles 24/7:
Time helped soothe his frustrations, and the quarterback’s mentality really shifted after talking to Kelly. According to a source close to Vick, the two have had a couple meetings now, and Vick came away very high on the former Oregon coach.
Kelly told reporters down at the Senior Bowl: “I really liked my meeting with Michael.”
None of this guarantees that Vick will be back in an Eagles uniform next season. Kelly needs to not just like Vick, but be convinced that he is the right quarterback to run his offense moving forward. Kelly wants to really study the tape before making a decision. If he comes away certain that Vick is his guy, the next conversation is about the money. Vick is scheduled to make around $16 million next season. There was a report a few weeks back that the signal-caller would be unwilling to restructure his deal. However, that was when the wounds from a trying season were still fresh, and before he got to sit face-to-face with Kelly. It is very possible that tune could change, especially after honest evaluation of his market value.
Restructuring the deal is probably the only way the Eagles would bring Vick back. There is a $3 million guarantee for the 2013 season in Vick's contract that kicks in on Friday, but it probably doesn’t matter. Even if the Eagles do nothing this week and then later cut Vick, the money would be paid by his new team (assuming he gets a contract worth more than $3 million).
The drum beat for Vick staying is getting louder. CBS Radio’s John Kincade tweeted this morning that he heard at the Super Bowl that the Eagles and Vick are trying to renegotiate a deal.
ESPN’s John Clayton, however, told Mike and Mike this morning that the Eagles could release Vick on Friday, a report that required exactly no effort since, yes, the Eagles could release Michael Vick on the day that most people assume the Eagles will release Michael Vick.
I don’t think Vick is a very good quarterback. In fact, I think he’s generally not that good and full of shit. But, he may be the Eagles' best option this season. Kelly seems to like Foles, but Foles hasn’t shown that he is ready – or will ever be ready – to be a good quarterback. Vick still has a year or two of above average football in his tank, and if there’s one coach who can utilize what speed he has left, it’s Kelly. So, Vick may be the Eagles' best option, which kind of sucks.