Michael Vick has agreed to a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to ProFootballTalk, the 35-year-old veteran quarterback will be the backup to starter Ben Roethlisberger.
Vick is nothing more than a part-time player at this point in his career. After an unsuccessful 2014 season with the New York Jets where he threw for just over 600 yards and three touchdowns, Vick did not garner much interest this past offseason. Much of the running speed that made him one of the most exciting players in the NFL during the early 2000’s is gone. He has never been the most accurate quarterback and has only one season on his resume where he had a completion percentage of at least 60 percent.
Not all Steelers fans are happy with the signing. According to USA Today, many fans, and even a local Pittsburgh animal shelter, took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
If the disgusting dog murderer #MichaelVick becomes a Steeler I will not go to a game again as long as he's on the team.— Katie (@katr0city) August 25, 2015
I can't explain how disappointed I am with the Steelers org signing michael vick. He is a vicious murderer who doesn't deserve a contract— Don Parks (@ParksDon) August 26, 2015
Vick is no stranger to fans protesting him for being a member of their organization. After being released from federal prison in May of 2009, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles four months later in August. While many fans were excited about his playmaking abilities, protests from unhappy animal lovers started within days of the announcement, according to ESPN. This divided the fans, and many claimed they would not watch the Eagles again as long as Vick was still a member of the team.
While Michael Vick was brought in to be a backup to quarterback Donovan McNabb, he eventually became the full-time starter after McNabb was traded in 2009 and Kevin Kolb was injured in 2010. Most Eagles fans eventually warmed up to Vick, but small protests still took place outside of nearly every home game in Philadelphia.
After signing with the New York Jets in 2014, the protests started again. Many Jets fans were unhappy about having to root for a man that was involved in dog fighting. Since Vick’s numbers were poor and the displeasure that many fans had with him, the Jets did not resign him for the 2015 season.
It is unlikely Michael Vick will play much for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played in all 16 regular season games in 2014 and 2013. Prior to that, Big Ben has played in at least 12 games in all of his 11 seasons as an NFL quarterback. He is durable, and by far the best option at quarterback for the Steelers. It is likely as the season goes on and Vick does not get much playing time, protests will quiet down as they did in Philadelphia and New York, and Vick will just be looked at as another backup.
[Image via Al Bello/Getty Images]