August 11, 2008
Most guys in Cell Block D don't have a plan this good, but most guys in Cell Block D aren't Mike Vick.
Michael Huyghue, the commissioner of the upstart United Football League, which plans to start play in 2009, is chomping at the big to throw millions at Vick. He sees Vick as the star attraction of his soon-to-be fledgling league.
The big news, I suppose, from my talk with Huyghue was this: He said the chances of a UFL team signing Michael Vick to play the 2009 season are "98 percent.'' Strange percentage, but that's what he said.
"Michael's not going to be able to walk right back into the NFL,'' Huyghue said. "He's going to need some kind of buffer before he signs in the NFL, and we'll be able to provide that for him.''
I don't know if Vick's going to need a buffer or not, but he is going to need cash. And I can't see any NFL team giving him more than the veteran's minimum, whereas the UFL could conceivably pay him in the neighborhood of $4 million a year. The prestige of being an NFL player is nice, but not being broke is probably a higher priority.
And it would be completely worth it for the UFL, too, even if Vick is never the player he once was. The attention and curiosity he'll generate is something they won't be able to get from any other player, I don't care who they pluck off an NFL roster.
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