Featured image Photo credit: Falcons Wire – USA Today

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft decided to officially call it quits on Friday at the age of 36.

“In this moment right now, I’m willing to say yeah, I’m officially retired,” Vick told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “I think it’s time. I think going through the 2016 season without playing and being able to be a spectator and watch the game and enjoy it from afar and root for a lot of the players and coaches I once played for, I think kind of summed it all up for me.

“So now I think I’m officially ready, I’m ready to move on to different things in my life and different facets of my life,” Vick said.

During his 13-year career, Vick threw for 22,464 yards, 133 touchdowns and 88 interceptions in 143 games. He also had a career completion percentage of 56.2.

What really made him dangerous though was his running ability. He rushed for 6,109 yards (seven yards per carry) and 36 touchdowns. He also became the only quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 2006 (1,039). He is also the all-time leader in rushing yards by a quarterback. That wasn’t always enough for him though.

“’I’m kind of sick of the fact that everyone wants to praise me in the running game. My goal is try to make them respect me in the passing game, too,” he said.

His career though took a big turn for the worst in 2007 when he was charged for illegal dog fighting, which also included him killing them if they had not performed well. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

“I was ashamed and totally disappointed in myself, to say the least. Dog fighting is a terrible thing. I reject it,” he said.

The Falcons released him after being unable to trade him. The Philadelphia Eagles signed him in 2009. He appeared in 12 games, starting in one. He went 6/13 for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

The next season, Vick became a starter and led the Eagles to a division title. He appeared in 12 games, but still set career highs in passing yards (threw for more yards the next season), passing percentage, quarterback rating, throwing and rushing touchdowns. He was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year and also earned his fourth Pro Bowl berth.

Right before the 2011 season, the Eagles and Vick agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract with $40 million guaranteed. He was released after the 2013 season after his play declined, mainly due to injuries, and Nick Foles playing well.

Vick spent the 2014 season with the New York Jets. He appeared in 10 games, starting one. He went 64/121 for 604 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 153 yards on 26 carries.

The next season he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers to be Ben Roethlisberger’s backup. He appeared in five games, starting three. He went 40/66 for 371 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 99 yards on 20 carries.

He went unsigned this past season. Earlier this season, Vick returned to Atlanta for the last regular season game at the Georgia Dome. He received a nice ovation from the fans.

Though he was average at best as a passer, his running game will never be forgotten. He was very electrifying.

What he did to those dogs will also never be forgotten. It was a very awful thing to do, but as time has went on, his legacy is better than it was 10 years ago. It may never be what it was before then though. He was one of the most popular and exciting players in the league during his time with the Falcons. There are some who gave him a second chance, but there are still some who are disgusted with him. Time usually heals.

What will his legacy be like in 10 years? It will be very interesting. One thing we can all agree on though is that we may never see another quarterback that can run like him.


Twitter: @asiddiqui15