(Reuters) – Michael Vick, the once dynamic NFL quarterback whose involvement in a dogfighting ring ended a breathtaking career at his peak, has agreed to come out of retirement to join the Fan Controlled Football starter league, a source told Reuters on Friday.
Vick, a former first draft pick who last suited up for a National Football League game in 2015, will make his debut on May 28, the last day of the regular season, according to the source who said. an official announcement is expected next week. .
Vick, 41, has yet to be assigned to a team.
Vick is the latest high-profile player to sign up with Fan Controlled Football, joining a group that includes Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens and Johnny Manziel, whose high-profile NFL careers died out after two seasons. .
According to the source, Vick agreed to a comeback after seeing the success his good friend Owens has had since signing with the league this year.
Fan Controlled Football, which this year doubled in size to eight teams for its second season, is a condensed style of 7-on-7 American football played on a 50-yard indoor field and acts like an actual video game that allows fans to call Games.
Vick was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, making him the first black quarterback to be picked with the No. 1 pick, and he continued to dazzle fans with his speed. breakaway race and his powerful passing arm.
Distinguishing himself in Atlanta for most of his six seasons with the Falcons, Vick pleaded guilty in 2007 and apologized for his role in an illegal dogfighting business known as the “Bad Newz Kennels” that plagued him. eventually saw him spend almost two years in prison.
Vick returned in 2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles where he served as a rarely used backup, but returned to the starting role the following season and was at his best en route to being named NFL Returning Player of the Year and earning the fourth Pro Bowl selection. of her career.
After five seasons with Philadelphia, Vick came on as a backup for the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers in what turned out to be his final two seasons in the NFL.
Vick officially retired in 2017 after passing for 22,464 yards and 133 touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons and his 6,109 career rushing yards remain the most by a quarterback.
Fan Controlled Football’s seven-week regular season, which will be followed by the playoffs, began in mid-April. All matches are held at a single facility in Atlanta.
Vick is expected to give a further boost to fan-controlled football ratings which, five weeks into the season, have topped all of last season’s ratings combined.
According to Fan Controlled Football, it drew over 12 million viewers on Twitch, Peacock, NBCLX, DAZN and fubo Sports Network this season.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)
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