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Before Michael Vick, the NFL had a singular view of what a quarterback should be. But once Vick burst onto the scene in 2001 as a rookie for the Atlanta Falcons, every preconceived notion of what an NFL quarterback could do on the field changed forever. Rewriting records, smashing expectations, and setting a new bar for quarterback play, Vick’s NFL career is only part of his remarkable story.
A highly-touted, record-breaking highschool player coming out of Newport News, Virginia, Vick selected Virginia Tech as his college playing destination. In his first starting season as a redshirt freshman, Vick made an immediate splash with his dynamic play, carrying the Hokies to an undefeated season and the Bowl Championship Series national title game. In 1999 he led the NCAA in passing efficiency (180.4), a record for a freshman, and the third-highest all-time mark. Vick also won an ESPY Award as the nation’s top college player, won the first-ever Archie Griffin Award as college football’s most valuable player, and finished third in the Heisman voting. After an up and down sophomore season where Vick dealt with injuries, he elected to pursue his lifelong dream and began to prepare for the NFL. In what seemed like a foregone conclusion, Vick was selected first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL draft.
Vick’s impact on the NFL landscape was swift and dramatic. Bringing never-before-seen speed, athleticism and strength to the quarterback position, Vick revolutionized the game, pushing it forward with his dynamic play and setting the stage for what we now recognize as the modern NFL QB. In his five years with the Falcons, Vick reached three Pro Bowls (2002, 2004 and 2005) and led the team to two playoff appearances, including the NFC Championship in 2004. During his final season in Atlanta, Vick continued to astound, setting the single-season rushing record for a quarterback and becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. More than just an on-field performer, Vick became a cultural force, redefining what the modern athlete can be.
After remarkable success, 2007 saw Vick face life-changing circumstances. Despite being under the sharp glare of the media, Vick rose from the depths of professional and personal lows and set himself upon a remarkable path to redemption. Signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010, he soon returned to form, passing for over 3,000 yards, rushing for nearly 700 yards, and scoring an incredible 30 touchdowns. His play earned him the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award and selection to his fourth Pro Bowl. After his thirteenth season, and stints with both the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, Vick retired from the NFL in 2017 as the league’s all-time quarterback rushing leader with more than 6,100 yards rushing, 22,000 yards passing, and a career passer rating of 80.5 with 169 career touchdowns.
Following his retirement, Vick continued to stay involved with the game in various minor coaching roles and more formally, joining Fox NFL Sunday as an analyst in 2017. Not content to ride into the sunset as one of the most revolutionary players to ever play in the NFL, Vick continues to inspire a new generation of athletes to give it their all and push themselves to the limit. We’re honored to partner with Michael Vick, a true embodiment of a Champion and a Legend, as he continues to build on his legacy.