We recently received a link to a video preview of Mike Vick’s appearance on Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes, an athletic competition featuring pro athletes against average guys, typically with big mouths.
We can’t recall any current football players participating in the football episode. And for good reason. The standard NFL player contract contains specific language preventing a player from playing football in any situation other than for the player’s NFL team. Here’s the relevant language, from paragraph 3: “Without prior written consent of the Club, Player will not play football or engage in activities related to football otherwise than for Club or engage in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury.”
Three years ago, the Titans relied upon this clause to block cornerback Pacman Jones from moonlighting as a pro wrestler while serving out a one-year suspension, even though he would never again play for the team.
Here, the video shows Vick wearing full pads and playing offense and defense in a three-on-three competition, with teammates Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn. In a couple of the clips, he is seen trying to make a tackle, although with Antonio Cromartie technique. At one point, Vick dives onto a loose ball.
And Vick apparently did not obtain “prior written consent” of the Eagles for these “football” activities. Per a league source, the Eagles knew about Vick’s involvement in the show and opted not to prevent him from doing it.
So why would the Eagles, who aren’t bashful about expecting players to honor every term of their contracts, let Vick expose himself to an injury that could have limited his availability in 2010 or destroyed his trade value? Maybe they thought they’d have a graceful exit from the Mike Vick experience if he were to pop an ACL and be placed on the non-football injury list, which cuts off all further compensation. Or maybe they believed it would be a positive gesture, in the hopes he avoids becoming “disgruntled.”
Regardless of the reason, there had to have been one. The Eagles don’t do anything without a reason.
Meanwhile, we’re also told that the Eagles also were aware of quarterback Donovan McNabb’s involvement in the show, and that they opted not to give him a hard time, either. But McNabb was only playing basketball, something that many players routinely do throughout the offseason as a way to help stay in shape.