Michael Vick was and now will always be an Atlanta Falcon. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Two weeks after Michael Vick declared he wanted to retire as an Atlanta Falcon, the team has decided to grant his wish. On Friday, the Falcons announced it will honor the former quarterback, as well as, former wide receiver Roddy White, during an official retirement press conference and reception.
“We consider all former Falcons to be Falcons for life, and part of our family,” team owner Arthur Blank said in a press statement. “Both men have made a huge impact on my family, our franchise and this city and we are thrilled to be able to honor both Roddy and Michael’s wishes to retire as Falcons, and celebrate their careers.”
One thing that won’t happen at the ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on June 12, are any contract signings. Vick had indicated that what he really wanted was to sign a one-day contract with the team before retiring, but Blank said that won’t be necessary.
“We do not need a contract in place to consider them a part of our family and honor their decision to retire as a Falcon,” Blank said.
Vick, whom the Falcons drafted No. 1 overall in 2001, spent six seasons with the team before he was found guilty of a federal dog fighting charge in 2007, which temporarily derailed his career. After serving 19 months in prison for his conviction, Vick did not return to the Falcons, but instead found spots with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom he last played in 2015.
Vick has tried to rehabilitate his reputation by working with children, whom he regularly speaks with to urge them to make better choices than he did in the past. He remains a popular figure in Atlanta, where he played his best football.
During his time with the team from 2001 to 2006, Vick completed 930 passes for 11,505 yards and 71 touchdowns, as well as rushed for 3,859 yards and scored 21 touchdowns on 529 runs. Those accolades earned him three Pro Bowl appearances.
White, meanwhile, spent his entire 11-season career in Atlanta, racking up 808 receptions for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns. Those all remain franchise records, according to the Falcons, despite that White stopped playing in 2015. He made four Pro Bowl appearances.