The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed Michael Vick back into the National Football League on Friday after the quarterback spent almost two years in federal prison on a felony dogfighting conviction.
Vick, formerly with the Atlanta Falcons, has signed a two-year deal with the Eagles.
“I think everybody deserves a second chance,” Vick said at a news conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday. “Now I want to be part of the solution and not the problem.”
The league suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia.
Vick, 29, was freed from federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 20 and returned to his Virginia home to serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement.
“Everything that happened at that point in my life was wrong,” Vick said of his involvement with the dogfighting ring.
“I had to reach a turning point. Prison definitely did it for me,” he said.
Flanked by Eagles coach Andy Reid and former NFL coach Tony Dungy, who acted as a mentor to Vick after he was imprisoned, the newest Eagle vowed “to do all the right things.”
“I want to be an ambassador to the NFL and the community,” he said. “I’m glad I got … a second chance. I won’t disappoint.”
Dungy said that he thinks Vick can revive his career and turn his life around in Philadelphia but that the quarterback will be tested by fickle Eagles fans.