BleacherReport — After 13 NFL seasons, quarterback Michael Vick told ESPN’s Josina Anderson he has officially retired, per SportsCenter.
The 36-year-old veteran spent the 2015 campaign as a backup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he made clear his desire to play one more season ahead of 2016, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com: “I would love to play this year, suit up for another run at it. I still feel like I could play and there is a lot left in the tank. … Playing another year is very important just for my psyche, just to get it out of my system, to go out with a bang.”
Despite Vick’s feeling that he still had something left to give, the right opportunity never presented itself, which eventually led to his decision to ride off into the sunset after a long and productive career.
And there we have it; after months of speculation and rumors surrounding his status, Michael Vick has officially retired after 13 seasons in the NFL. His career was filled with electrifying plays, mind-blowing runs, and always his fair share of controversy.
After being taken with the 1st overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft after compiling 4,495 total yards and 38 total TDs in two seasons at Virginia Tech, Vick started just 2 games his rookie season before taking over full-time QB duties in his second season. He impressed many, throwing for almost 3,000 yards and rushing for another 777 in 15 games at the helm, and leading the Falcons to a 9-6 record and a playoff victory. He would play just 5 games in 2003 due to a preseason injury before really taking off the following year.
Vick played 3 more impressive seasons in Atlanta before the infamous incident he’s most known for: the dogfighting scandal. In August 2007 he pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges, and hours later was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL. Although he was a first-time NFL rules offender, he was given a harsher punishment because he provided the majority of the money that was gambled on the dogfights. He missed the entirety of the 2007 and 2008 seasons while serving an 18-month prison sentence, and upon his release was let go by the Falcons, making him an unrestricted free agent with a lot to prove.
The Philadelphia Eagles gave him a chance, signing him to a 1-year contract in 2009. He played minimally in 2009, but from 2010-12 recorded over 8,500 passing yards, over 1,500 rushing yards, and 62 total touchdowns. He subsequently lost his starting spot to Nick Foles in the middle of the 2013 season, and spent the rest of the year as a backup before signing a free agent contract with the New York Jets that offseason.
Vick would start just 3 games in New York, backing up Geno Smith, and started another 3 last season in a reserve role with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had indicated he thought he could return for 1 more season in 2017, but after a lack of interest from teams and his own personal contemplation, decided to call it quits today.
Vick retires with the NFL records for QB rushing yards both in a single season (1,039, 2006) and career (6,109), and a whole lot of incredible highlight reel moments. Watch, remember, and enjoy.