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Eagles give Vick $100m deal

Six-year pact has $40m guaranteed

In a chippy exhibition game in East Rutherford, N.J., Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes fights off the coverage of the Giants’ Corey Webster (23) to haul in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez in the second quarter. In a chippy exhibition game in East Rutherford, N.J., Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes fights off the coverage of the Giants’ Corey Webster (23) to haul in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez in the second quarter. (Jim Mcisaac/Getty Images)
Associated Press / August 30, 2011

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Michael Vick is really back on top now.

Vick and the Eagles agreed on a six-year contract yesterday that again makes the Pro Bowl quarterback one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

A source familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press the deal is worth $100 million, including about $40 million guaranteed. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because terms weren’t released.

Vick has come a long way since spending 18 months in federal prison on dogfighting charges. He led the Eagles to the NFC East title last year, was the starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl, and was the AP Comeback Player of the Year.

“I’m very happy we were able to reach an agreement with Michael on this long-term contract,’’ Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “It’s a product of all the hard work Michael has done to better himself over the last couple of years, both on and off the field. I’m very proud that he has been able to achieve success again in this league, but he’ll be the first one to tell you that there is a lot of work yet to be done by him and this team as a whole.

“And there’s no doubt in my mind that he will continue on that path.’’

Vick was due to earn slightly more than $16 million this season after the Eagles designated him the franchise player in February. He’ll make a little less, possibly giving the Eagles salary cap flexibility to give Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson an extension.

The 31-year-old Vick joined the Eagles in 2009, and played sparingly as the third-string quarterback behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb.

He began last year as the backup, but forced his way into the starting role with his exceptional performances after Kolb got hurt in the season opener. The Eagles traded Kolb this offseason.

Vick guided the Eagles to an 8-3 record in 11 games as a starter in his first season playing full-time since 2006. He set career highs in yards passing (3,018), touchdowns passing (21), touchdowns rushing (9), completion percentage (62.6), and passer rating (100.2). Vick also rushed for 676 yards.

Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, once was a megastar with the Falcons. He signed a $130 million, 10-year deal in 2005 that made him the top-paid player in the league then. But Vick lost it all when he went to jail and he eventually filed for bankruptcy.

He was reviled by fans when he came back, but has won them over with good behavior off the field, a humble attitude, and spectacular play.

Manning activated Peyton Manning is back. Whether he is ready to play is an open question.

The Colts activated their star quarterback from the physically unable to perform list, and a few hours later the four-time MVP jogged onto the practice field, renewing hopes that he might play in the season opener at Houston Sept. 11, four months after neck surgery.

“That’s kind of been my goal all along, trying to get better and I know everybody’s into predictions and everybody wants to have the breaking news,’’ an upbeat Manning said. “But I just can’t give you any more than what I’m giving you.’’

What everyone wants to know, of course, is whether Manning will be ready. Nobody, including Manning, will say that yet and he said again that he won’t play in Thursday night’s preseason finale at Cincinnati.

Clearly, though, Manning is getting closer. He acknowledged that he is healthy enough to take a snap or play a series to keep his consecutive-games streak intact (at 227) but insists he won’t.

“Like I said the other night, I have to be able to competitively play,’’ he said. “I have too much respect for football. I’ve got to be able to compete and to help my team win, and that’s what’s fair to the team, fair to myself.’’

Manning had been on the PUP list since the team’s first training camp practice Aug. 1 following the May procedure to repair a nerve in his neck. The Colts were facing a Saturday deadline to make the move or Manning would have missed Indy’s first six games.

Team officials issued a statement that said Manning would practice on a “scripted’’ and controlled basis.

Benson sentenced Bengals running back Cedric Benson was sentenced to 20 days in jail after reaching a deal to settle two misdemeanor assault cases in Texas. Benson said he will surrender to authorities Oct. 17, which is the Monday of Cincinnati’s bye week. Benson’s jail time could be significantly shorter than the sentence. He could be given credit for any time served when he was arrested and state law requires inmates be given two days credit for every day they are rewarded for good behavior . . . The Titans placed Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson on the reserve/did not report list in a move that frees up a roster spot for the final preseason game. The administrative move has no impact on contract talks with Johnson, who met with the team last week but remains a holdout . . . Frank Gore’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was scheduled to meet with 49ers officials last night to discuss a new contract for the star running back. Gore, who has repeatedly said he would like a long-term commitment from the team before the season opener, called the meeting “a step’’ in the right direction.

Cowboys drop Gurode The Cowboys released center Andre Gurode, who made the Pro Bowl the last five years. Gurode started every game the previous three seasons, but had knee surgery in June. The move will save Dallas $5.5 million against the salary cap . . . Former Jets bust Vernon Gholston is unemployed again. The Bears waived the defensive end, who was drafted sixth overall in 2008 and is still without a sack. Other notable cuts included Titans defensive tackle Jovan Haye, Jaguars linebacker Gerris Wilkinson, Buccaneers cornerback Ashton Youboty, and Vikings quarterback Rhett Bomar . . . The Seahawks traded veteran cornerback Kelly Jennings to Cincinnati for defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. Jennings, a first-round pick of Seattle in 2006, had just two interceptions in five seasons.

Jets win fight to finish Mark Sanchez threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes and the Jets intercepted Eli Manning twice in a 17-3 exhibition win over the Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. The chippy game featured 16 penalties and the ejections of Giants halfback Brandon Jacobs and Jets defensive end Muhummad Wilkerson for a second-half skirmish . . . The Cardinals placed Greg Toler on injured reserve after the starting cornerback tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Saturday’s game against San Diego . . . Falcons center Todd McClure underwent minor surgery on his right knee and might miss the season opener at Chicago. McClure was injured Saturday against Pittsburgh . . . Quarterback Byron Leftwich had surgery to repair a broken left arm, leaving Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon to battle for the Steelers’ No. 2 job. Leftwich was hurt Saturday against Atlanta and could miss the season . . . The 49ers notified the NFL that wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught a couple dozen passes during warm-ups while still on the physically unable to perform list. It’s unclear whether the Niners will be penalized. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was investigating the situation . . . Another group of former NFL players is suing the league and helmet makers over head injuries suffered during their careers. Eighteen players were named in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. More than 75 current and former NFL players filed a similar suit in Los Angeles in July and another group did so earlier this month in Philadelphia.

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