Blank was never going to allow Vick back

 

Given what Michael Vick did to the Falcons franchise, owner Arthur Blank never wanted him back. (AP photo)

Michael Vick did too much damage to the Falcons to ever expect he would be brought back.

It’s only a bookkeeping detail. But it’s a significant detail.

No more looking at the bottom of the roster and seeing, “Suspended. Michael Vick. QB.”

No more questions to the owner or the general manager or the coach, “So, when are you going to trade Michael Vick?”

No more discussion about the implausible but lingering possibility that owner Arthur Blank would somehow change his mind and still bring back the quarterback who both saved the Falcons’ franchise but then leveled it  – at least by the small percentage of people who still wear No. 7 jerseys, scream his name and hold a candle for him.

Goodbye, Michael Vick. Finally.

I’m all for his return – somewhere else.

I’m all for him rehabilitating his image and his life and reviving his career – somewhere else.

He has served his time. He has thought about where he went wrong and where he needs to go from here. Now comes the really hard part: Doing things correctly. But he couldn’t do it here. Blank was never going to allow it. That was clear to most clear-thinking individuals even before he made that official publicly several months back, even before Matt Ryan was drafted, even before Matt Ryan turned into something even greater than expected.

Blank writes his office e-mails in red. The man who writes in red e-mails was lied to — and he doesn’t like being lied to. Blank also knew that for every dollar he made if he brought Vick back by selling jerseys and season tickets to Vick fans, he would lose far more dollars because of the fans who would leave and the corporate sponsorships that would go away.

And did I mention he was lied to?

Vick forever will have a strong connection to Atlanta. People will remember the greatness and the tragedy. There was a time when he lit up this city. There was a time when he united it. There was a time when he divided it. Some would have you believe he divides it still.

But his actual connections to the franchise are drying up. The head coaches he played for, Dan Reeves and Jim Mora, are long gone. The general manager who ran the franchise the year Vick took the Falcons took the NFC title game, Rich McKay, now holds a non-football position with the team. Vick never shook hands on a deal with the current general manager, Thomas Dimitroff. He never played for the current coach, Mike Smith.

Vick’s strongest remaining connection is Blank. And Blank didn’t want him.

Blank, McKay and Dimitroff  have been planning for this separation for two years, playing out scenarios with the salary cap and then ultimately drafting Ryan. The Falcons would have liked to get a draft pick for Vick in trade. But this is the NFL. Trades for players who logically are on the verge of being released don’t happen very often, unless there’s a market. Right now at least, there’s no market for Vick.

Think about that for a minute: There’s no market for Michael Vick.

“We spent a significant amount of time this off-season trying to trade him to another NFL club,” Dimitoff said, “and we had some conversations with a few teams, but nothing materialized. At this point, we feel releasing Michael is best for him and best for us. Our entire organization sincerely hopes that Michael will continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard.”

Vick has been out of the Falcons’ plans for some time. Now he is officially off the books.

It’s a detail. But a significant detail. It’s easier to move on when there’s no name on the roster.

223 comments Add your comment

azcat225

June 12th, 2009
10:57 am

You’re going to be busy deleting comments today, Jeff.

The best thing every one involved can do, and I do mean every one, including Michael Vick, is to turn and walk away. Case closed, matter concluded, that’s a wrap.

Oh, if that were really the case…

FALCON NATION Citizen

June 12th, 2009
10:58 am

DING DONG !

The THUG is Dead!

The dog-killing, women-infecting, illegitimate-child-fathering, inarticulate, subpar-QB THUG is Dead !

Long Live FALCON NATION !!!!

Falconsfanforlife

June 12th, 2009
10:59 am

Good riddance. I have no issue with him coming back and playing for a different team like you said. This is great news for fans of the Falcons team and NFL football in Atlanta. What happened last year started the healing, and now we can finally move on. Good luck Mike, but thank god you’ll never be wearing Falcons red on Sunday again.

Go Falcons. I’m pumped for what this season will bring, and even more excited that Mike Vick is no longer on our roster.

MightyQuinn

June 12th, 2009
11:00 am

Absolutely he was never going to be allowed back. The only thing worse than a QB battle is a QB battle that includes race. Vick’s career in the ATL died with those dogs.

Navigator

June 12th, 2009
11:00 am

And Blank is making the right decision, and I’m surprised he didn’t do it much sooner.

Tron5000

June 12th, 2009
11:02 am

Good luck, Ookie.

PMC

June 12th, 2009
11:03 am

8 million in dead money this year and that will be the end of it. Wow am I glad this is over.

Before people get upset with the Falcons on this. They have done him a HUGE favor by releasing him now because now his agent can go try and find him a job without restrictions and it’s way before training camp so as soon as he’s up legally they can press the issue of his reinstatement. This is good for the Falcons and Michael Vick.

Mark C.

June 12th, 2009
11:03 am

I think the real question here is whose comment section gets shut down first, Schultz or Bradley’s.

Mangum

June 12th, 2009
11:03 am

PMC

June 12th, 2009
11:04 am

Blue Sky’s and ready for OTA’s.

Tron5000

June 12th, 2009
11:04 am

Is there no way they could have avoided taking the $6.4 million (according to Pat Yasinkas of ESPN.com) salary cap hit? I mean, dude was incarcerated and is now a felon. No breach of contract or anything on his part?

Brad in Jasper

June 12th, 2009
11:05 am

Goodbye, sir. You lost any support from me when you gave the fans the middle finger, nevermind the other charades. The fans that still think he was somehow “framed” by the man, or whatever conspiracy theory they harbor, are completely delusional in my opinion. The Birds are in good hands for the future. Let’s close this chapter for good now, and end the tiresome MV7 discussions. The future is getting brighter. can’t wait for the fall.

Johnny Quest

June 12th, 2009
11:06 am

“Who let the dogs out? wuff, wuff, wuff-wuff!”

Mark in Woodstock

June 12th, 2009
11:07 am

Michael….good luck to you….you had the world and lost it…here’s hoping you learned your lesson. We all go through that period in life where we realize what’s truly valuable…hopefully he has as well and will turn his life around.

Blindog

June 12th, 2009
11:08 am

Never likeed him,never will and he is a thug wanna-be, sadly, thug would be a step up for this low-life loser!!

Mr. Obvious

June 12th, 2009
11:11 am

Mike Vick may no longer be a Falcon, but he is will always be a F E L O N !

mryan

June 12th, 2009
11:13 am

Yes! We no longer have to see our logo next to his name ever again! Let’s stay classy, Falcon Nation.

Terrell

June 12th, 2009
11:14 am

FALCON NATION Citizen , why don’t you just replace THUG with the word you really want to say. Yes it’s time to move on, but I wish people could show some intelligence in their choice of words. Why is it that anytime we talk about the Falcons’ success it’s followed by a stupid negative comment towards Mike Vick?

mryan

June 12th, 2009
11:15 am

Do we really have to pile on? We should thank God we have a quarterback and a true leader in the locker room.

George Gipp

June 12th, 2009
11:15 am

I really can’t believe the Falcons released Vick! Bad move. He owes the Falcons money. His rights belonged to the Falcons for several more years. They don’t have to pay him as long as he’s under indefinate suspension by the NFL and don’t have to carry him on the active roster. Just as soon as the league reinstates him, if they do, another team WILL take the chance and sign him for his athletic ability. Vick still had some value to the Falcons, even if it’s just making sure he sits and can’t go play for a competitor in the same division or conference. If reinstated, you know we could have at least gotten some draft picks for him. If they wanted to be vindictive, the Falcons could sit on him and make sure by the time that contract period was over Vick never stepped foot on an NFL field. He could have been inactive for years, thereby being worthless to another team.
The Falcons gave this guy boucous millions and in return MV7 (a.k.a Ron Mexico) made Mr. Blank look like a fool in front of the entire nation more than once. He constantly lied to the man who was signing his checks, spoon feeding him, pushing him around in a wheelchair and playing daddy to him, smiling all the while as he smoked blunts, spread social diseases, fathered illegitimate children, blew millions on his posse and ‘raised dogs’. At the moment, it was costing the Falcons nothing to sit on on him. They should have done it until he was reinstated by the NFL.

Spacemountain

June 12th, 2009
11:15 am

Now we can focus on the Falcons and just the Falcons.

Mike In Valdosta

June 12th, 2009
11:17 am

He should have never moved his mom out, nor moved all those thugzzzzzz (don’t they like their “z”s) in. Dan Reeves was exactly right, that boy needed his moma, and a little tougher love from Blank. I certainly hope all have learned their lesson.

DHD

June 12th, 2009
11:18 am

Does this mean the man crush that the AJC reporters is over????? No, we’ll still see 4 or 5 Vick articles each week. They love the guy.

Former Season Ticket Holder

June 12th, 2009
11:18 am

Hmmmm, 3 days after the judge gave yet another deadline for a new Chapter 11 reorganization plan, the Falcons so generously release Vick? BWA HAHAHAHA! Who’s pulling these strings? Who is so naive they can’t see THAT? Let’s not pretend like this was done for any reason other than the intervention that took place last night by McKay, Dimitroff and Stephanie Blank to tell King Arthur “you HAVE too!”…LOL! Whoever is paying Vick’s legal fees, is the one that made the call that basically said, release him NOW. Sorry Arthur, I know you thought that spike in revenue between 2002 and 2006 was all about you but sadly, as 2007 and 2008 have proven, it SO wasn’t. Its somebody else’s turn to reap that benefit now.

What!!!

June 12th, 2009
11:18 am

DING DONG THE VICK IS GONE, THE VICK IS GONE, THE VICK IS GONE! DING DONG THE WICKED VICK IS GOOOOOONNNNNEEEE!!

LET OUT YOUR DOGS TO RUN, THEY’LL BE SAFE TO HAVE SOME FUN!! DING DONG THE WICKED VICK IS GONE!!

Can’t you just imagine Vick running around in his neighborhood chasing the neighbors dogs while his ankle bracelett is beeping screaming…..”I’ll get you my little pretty.” BWAA HA HA!!!!!

maddog

June 12th, 2009
11:18 am

GOODBYE TO THE OLD FALCONS HELLO TO A REAL TEAM. WE DONT NEED A LONG HAIRED THUG LIKE VICK ON THE ROSTER.ITS SO GOOD TO HAVE A QB THATGOT A GOOD HEAD ON HIS SHOULDERS.GO BACK TO THE HOOD YOU CAME FROM MV7

Jeff Schultz

June 12th, 2009
11:19 am

AZCAT225: I know. I know.

MARK C: I’m bettin’ on a tie.

TRON5000: If it was base salary for next season, yes. But it was signing bonus money already paid/committed. The pro-ration ($5 word) goes away.

JOHNNY: Ah, c’mon. You can do better. (But J.Q. was an AWESOME cartoon.)

Jeff Schultz

June 12th, 2009
11:21 am

GEORGE GIPP: I disagree. Team needs to move on. There’s no real potential $$$ savings other than the cap hit this season, which obviously they believe is worth the tradeoff for closure.

What!!!

June 12th, 2009
11:22 am

Vick fans you may now leave with your beloved!!!

Man I feel like we should throw a party!!!! WOOO HOOO!!!!

BigSherm7

June 12th, 2009
11:22 am

The perfect irony would be if Vick signs with an AFC team, takes them to the Super Bowl against the Falcons, and, on the last play of the game, makes a play like that highlight reel play that he made against the Vikings a few years ago. That would be more of a dagger in the heart than the suddenly collapse against the Cowboys in ‘81, or the Eugene Robinson affair in 1999. . .

bigstack19

June 12th, 2009
11:27 am

Sure hope he learned his lesson. He did his time and deserves a second chance in life, but he better not screw it up. He won’t get another chance.

What!!!

June 12th, 2009
11:27 am

BigSherm7………………..wake up!!!

mryan

June 12th, 2009
11:28 am

Wow! Nice dreaming there, Sherm. I’d rather lose with Matt Ryan.

oldbird

June 12th, 2009
11:29 am

Jeff – all you needed to write was “It’s easier to move on when there’s no name on the roster.”

Peace

Mac

June 12th, 2009
11:33 am

Is he really officially off the books? They don’t owe this scumbag any more money, I hope?

Sam

June 12th, 2009
11:34 am

The Black Jesus experiment is long over. We shall never know how 2007 would have turned out and what progress may have been made. Could he have had a >60% completion rate? Or was he too short to see over the O-line? Black Jesus screwed the pooch and we shall never know. It’s water way past the bridge to this Falcon fan.

Former Season Ticket Holder

June 12th, 2009
11:36 am

So will the AJC officially create a Mike Vick page or will you continue to just have the Falcons share the page with him?

Captain Irony

June 12th, 2009
11:37 am

The GULLIBLE Arthur Blank would never have hired a person like Vick at HOME DEPOT, and certainly not a convicted FELON.

Ironically, however, Vick found himself saddled with $130 million contract to the same FELON.

Where will Vick go for work now?

Certainly not Home Depot!

Hallmark

June 12th, 2009
11:40 am

Happy ILLEGITIMATE FATHERS Day , MIke Vick!

Nostradamus

June 12th, 2009
11:43 am

Michael Vick will be back in handcuffs before he is back in a football uniform.

You can take that to the bank, DOG.

Volman

June 12th, 2009
11:44 am

Very good article today, Mr. Schultz. It beats the heck out of your love for UGA (re:your lovefest with David Pollack) or your negative articles on Atlanta teams (Hawks, Braves, etc).

This was a true blog and I don’t think Blank needs to justify ANYTHING to ANYBODY. We all know he was lied to. We all know what would happen if the Falcons brought him back.

Matt Ryan is here..he’s the future of this franchise for the next 10+ years, and I’m glad I do not have to worry about who is going to play quarterback. Leave that to the Lions.

eplayerj

June 12th, 2009
11:50 am

I am and will always be a Falcon fan. I like how Michael made this team relevant again. Our history is short enough that most of the people on her jumping for joy forget what he bought to this team. Say what you want about the person, but he left it on the field. Nothing but blood and sweat. Even when he had no help. He did what he could. I will miss that person.

I wish him well in the future. If that future isn’t in the NFL. If he makes it to another team I hope he bust our head to the white meat. Now that is Karma.

Da Voice

June 12th, 2009
11:50 am

There is no way the Falcon nation would rather lose a superbowl game to Mike Vick regardless of who the QB. You say that because the possibility of it happening is slim to none. The man is gone so let’s put this sad tragic saga behind us and move on. I am a Vick fan which made me a Falcon fan. I truly hope that Matt Ryan does not suffer a sophmore slump because now folks are riding his jock like they were a certain number 7 a few years back. The future is bright but I hope we as Falcon fans can stand some rain if the team stumbles some this year. I am sure we will as none of us who are being so hateful now will want to eat their words if the Falcons as a team are not successful. Go Falcons

Birddawg

June 12th, 2009
11:54 am

I’m a Falcons fan…I’m a Michael Vick fan and I hope for succes for both of them. But I do wonder what all of these fans will say if Michael comes to lead some other moribund franchise to a Superbowl championship in the next few years. Or worse, multiple Superbowl championships. Let’s hope that question is never answered because if he is winning Superbowls, that means the Falcons won’t be.

Optimist Prime

June 12th, 2009
11:54 am

Man!

I was hoping this was going to be an obituary article.

Maybe tomorrow…

PoliticalMan

June 12th, 2009
12:01 pm

I’m predicting that Vick will never be a good pro football again, certainly not in the NFL. He will have lost some physical ability over the last two plus years. Mentally he is not tough. The idea that he is going to somehow be a top receiver, cornerback, etc is ridiculous. Maybe RB is his position, though QB scrambling barely relates. Basically Vick is a man who came on the stage for a brief while and flamed out. In a few years his name will be a distant memory.

MattyB

June 12th, 2009
12:02 pm

This can’t possibly be good news for Vick, just more Bad Newz. The fact that the Falcons couldn’t get even something small in trade will certainly deal a large blow to his “projected future earnings” regarding his bankruptcy reorganization “plan.”

Jeff, I’m curious to know if maybe Falcons management has been hearing whispers through back door channels that the commissioner’s office isn’t going to be overly anxious to re-instate Vick and that’s what led to today’s final decision in the matter?????

Joey

June 12th, 2009
12:02 pm

I get frustrated by media types who keep writing that “Vick lied to Blank”, “Vick lied to Goodell”, and Blank and Goodell don’t like being lied to, etc. I’m not a big Vick fan, but what was he supposed to do, just up and admit to committing a federal crime? Most guys won’t admit to leaving the toilet lid down. Who in the world would not lie to our boss if in his position?

Ted Striker

June 12th, 2009
12:03 pm

Madden NFL fans want Mike Vick on a roster, we don’t care which one. (You should see my bootleg with McNabb, suckers).

Officer Rivieri

June 12th, 2009
12:03 pm

Are all the *VICK SUPPORTERS* in Atlanta going to get mad now, riot, destroy & loot their own neighborhoods and burn down all the local KFC restaurants and HOME DEPOT stores for how their “god” was direspected by Arthur Blank and the Falcons?