Back in 2007, quarterback Michael Vick was the face of the Atlanta Falcons franchise – having been selected to three Pro Bowls in the six seasons since the team made him the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2001 draft.
But the discovery of a dog-fighting operation at Vick’s Virginia residence in April of that year made all that go away. By July, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Vick to stay away from Falcons training camp, and by August he was suspended indefinitely from the NFL after signing a plea agreement in which he admitted to conspiracy in a dog-fighting ring and helping kill pit bulls.
Vick spent 548 days in prison, and when he returned to the NFL in 2009, it was with the Eagles – not the Falcons.
In this weekend’s “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank revealed what Vick told him their final conversation before the quarterback went to jail.
“I said… ‘Didn’t you ever think you’d be caught? How did you think you were going to get away with this?’… Michael said, ‘You know my entire life — once I became the athlete I was — somebody was always there to take care of any issues that I had. Somebody always was there to kind of fend for me and cover up this for me and make it right … and I thought this was going to be another case that would happen again. Even to the very end, that some attorney … would handle this for me. And obviously I had to take responsibility for what I did — and I do — and I am going to pay a big price.’ And he did.”
Watch the full excerpt from Bensinger’s interview with Blank below.