Michael Vick is back in the NFL, landing a job with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Agent Joel Segal confirmed the quarterback’s signing, shortly before the team announced it in a text message. The Eagles gave Vick a one-year deal with an option for a second year.
The 29-year-old Vick, once the NFL’s highest-paid player, has been out of action since 2006. The former Atlanta Falcons star was convicted in August 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting ring. He served 18 months of a 23-month sentence in federal prison. He also was suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally lifted Vick’s suspension on July 27, allowing him to sign with a team, practice and play in the last two exhibition games. Once the season begins, Vick can participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19) at the latest.
The Eagles went to the playoffs last season under quarterback Donovan McNabb, and are still looking for their elusive first Super Bowl win.
McNabb has led the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in the past eight years, and was rewarded with a $5.3 million raise in the offseason. The Eagles tore up his old contract with two years remaining, and gave him a new deal worth $24.5 million over the next two seasons.
The team is a surprise landing point for Vick. It was among 26 clubs that said there was no interest in him, but that might have changed when backup Kevin Kolb strained a knee ligament earlier this week. Kolb’s injury isn’t serious and he’s expected to return next week. The Eagles also have veteran A.J. Feeley.
When news of Vick’s signing circulated in the Lincoln Financial Field press box during the first half of the Eagles’ exhibition opener against New England, even the team’s public relations staff seemed surprised. The stadium was buzzing by halftime as word spread. Fans standing on the concourse were in disbelief. One guy wondered how soon he’d be able to buy a Vick jersey. Another asked if this was a joke.
Stallworth out for 2009
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decided Donte’ Stallworth’s football punishment should last much longer than his 24 days in jail.
The Cleveland Browns receiver, who pleaded guilty to killing a pedestrian while driving drunk, was suspended without pay Thursday for the entire season. He is barred from team activities until he is reinstated after the Super Bowl.
“Your conduct endangered yourself and others, leading to the death of an innocent man,” Goodell wrote in a letter to Stallworth released by the league. “The NFL and NFL players must live with the stain that you have placed on their reputations.”
Stallworth struck 59-year-old crane operator Mario Reyes the morning of March 14 in Miami.
TO could return next week
Receiver Terrell Owens expects to return to practice next week, meaning he’ll likely miss the Buffalo Bills’ home exhibition against Chicago this weekend because of a sprained toe. Updating his injury on his Twitter page before the team’s practice Thursday night, Owens wrote his toe is getting better and he’ll possibly be back at practice Monday. He added that fans don’t need to worry.
49ers pick Hill at quarterback
Shaun Hill is a big reason Mike Singletary became San Francisco’s head coach and shed the interim tag from his title. Not that it matters much now.
Singletary is going with Hill as the 49ers’ starting quarterback for their exhibition opener tonight against the Denver Broncos, yet insisted Thursday this is no hint whatsoever who will be under center come the regular season.
“Shaun Hill will start the game. I do not know who will start next week,” Singletary said. “Really, it could have been Shaun Hill or Alex Smith we chose, so don’t read anything in to it.”
Hill, who worked with the No. 1 offense during a walkthrough Thursday, went 5-3 over the Niners’ final eight games last season and 2-0 as a fill-in starter in 2007.
Brady returns to action
Tom Brady has returned to action for the first time since tearing ligaments in his left knee in Week 1 last year.
The 2007 league MVP completed his first pass and threw an incompletion in his first series during New England’s preseason opener against Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Brady handed off on his first play before tossing a 6-yard pass to Wes Welker out of a shotgun formation. On third-and-4, Brady’s pass for Joey Galloway was broken up.
The Green Bay Packers signed linebacker Stryker Sulak. Sulak was a sixth-round draft pick by the Oakland Raiders this year, but the Raiders released him before signing him to a contract. Sulak had a college-high six forced fumbles at Missouri last year. To make room for Sulak on the roster, the Packers placed tight end Tory Humphrey on injured reserve. … The Indianapolis Colts have placed wide receiver Roy Hall on the waived-injured list and waived guard Tom Pestock. The Colts also signed running back Walter Mendenhall and defensive end Rudolph Hardie. Receiver Sam Giguere was also activated from the physically unable to perform list. … A convicted felon accused of selling the gun used to kill ex-NFL quarterback Steve McNair has been indicted on a firearms charge. A federal grand jury in Nashville, Tenn., charged Adrian J. Gilliam Jr. with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.