We don’t watch much SportsCenter. Primarily because we don’t care about the other sports they cover.
Every once in a while, however, we park the cathode ray tube on ESPN for the endless loop of sports highlights and info.
And sometimes we end up finding out something we hadn’t previously picked up via the Internet.
On Friday morning, Chris Mortensen did a call-in during which he talked about Mike Vick. And Mort reported, almost in passing, that the UFL is willing to pay Vick $1.5 million to $2 million for one six-game season.
We called UFL spokesperson Rachel Gary for confirmation. But she declined to comment generally on the amounts paid to specific players — and who declined to comment specifically on whether the UFL had decided on a specific amount to be offered to Vick.
As we interpret it, then, Mort is on the money, as to the money that the UFL is willing to give Vick.
So how could he not take that deal? Even at the low end of the range that Mortensen quoted, the per-game check of $250,000 works out to an NFL full-season salary of $4.25 million.
And no one in the NFL will be paying Vick $4.25 million in 2009.
Though we’ve consistently heard that the UFL is an absolute last resort for Vick (most recently, Adam Schefter tweeted that Redskins cornerback and former Vick teammate DeAngelo Hall reiterated that fact, which is persuasive to us since Hall and Vick are represented by the same agent), Vick might have no real choice.
He’s in bankruptcy. So while he probably can’t be forced to do something he doesn’t want to do from an employment standpoint, we can’t imagine the federal bankruptcy judge keeping calm amid news that Vick would be willing to take less total money from the NFL to work 17 weeks instead of six.
Then again, we think that the NFL’s decision to conditionally reinstate Vick was influenced in part by a desire to keep him from playing in the UFL. So if it looks like the UFL is in position to lasso solid television ratings and national interest by landing Vick, the NFL is more likely to find a team to take him on.