Michael Vick admitted on a Friday night conference call that a return to Philly "would have been tough." As much as he wanted to return, he could see the writing on the wall. His replacement, Nick Foles, "played out of his mind last year" and Vick knew there was nothing he could do to win back his starting job.
But though he wishes things had ended differently in Philly, Vick has no hard feelings about his five seasons with the Eagles. And he made sure to express those feelings in a letter to Philly fans in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Here it is, in its entirety:
"I would like to thank the Eagles and the entire city of Philadelphia. I was honored to be their quarterback and took the privilege to heart every day. I especially want to thank Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid, who gave me the opportunity. I want to thank my teammates, who were not just coworkers, but friends. I also want to thank the millions of fans who cheered and supported our team.
People say Philadelphia fans are tough. I say they are fair. A player is not judged solely by his past or promises of the future, but by his actions today, and the next day, and the next.
In my time volunteering, I have met Philadelphia's heroes. I've met at-risk children with few resources, but with teachers tirelessly helping them make the most of a second chance. I've seen the work of volunteers at school fund-raisers, food drives, after-school programs, hurricane shelters, Toys for Tots campaigns, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the meaningful work of the Humane Society of the United States. I've seen children choosing the mentorship of a football coach over peer pressure on a street corner. One of the best examples of a community deserving a second chance is the North Philadelphia Aztecs youth football team. As the players step onto Team Vick Field, they can hold their heads high and be proud that they are making Philly stronger.
The Eagles are an outstanding organization with a bright future, and I'm thankful for all the friendship, love, and support they gave me and my family. I look forward to seeing great things from them both on the field and in the community.