Mike Florio is an American sports journalist and author who covers the National Football League for NBC. His latest article, published on Sunday, speculated that Michael Vick (the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons) may have been rigging games during his final season with the team in order to secure a better record and make it into the playoffs. This accusation came from former NFL player Joey Porter’s release of a text conversation between him and Vick while they were still playing together which revealed their plans to rig games at first year.

The “profootballtalk tv schedule” is a sports talk show that airs on NBC. Mike Florio, who hosts the show, has speculated Michael Vick rigged games during his final Falcons season. The speculation came from an interview he had with former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Merril Hoge.

Highlights of the article:

  • Florio, Mike of NBC Sports speculated publicly about whether former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick fixed games.
  • Vick’s uneven performance during the 2006 season, his last before being sentenced to jail for a dogfighting incident, was mentioned by the creator of ProFootballTalk.
  • Although Florio’s notion is fascinating, the mechanics of possibly tossing games are too complicated.

As more professional sports organizations embrace legalized sports betting, there are genuine concerns about a player purposefully throwing games or underperforming in order to get a certain result. There are also issues about athletes wagering on games involving their team, as the Atlanta Falcons recently discovered with veteran receiver Calvin Ridley.

Florio, Mike of NBC Sports hasn’t ruled out the possibility that the Falcons hired a player who willfully harmed his team’s chances of winning even before Ridley arrived in the league in 2018.

Who is this mysterious player? Michael Vick, a former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.

Florio, Mike of NBC Sports publicly speculated about whether Michael Vick fixed games during his last season with the Falcons in 2006.

NBC Sports' Florio, Mike (L) and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

NBC Sports' Florio, Mike (L) and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has an interesting notion, according to NBC Sports’ Florio, Mike (L). | B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images; Rex Brown/Getty Images

To be clear, Florio did not accuse Vick of throwing games, nor did he make any specific allegations. What we’re going to talk about is an idea, although a fascinating one.

Florio devoted a chunk of his new book Playmakers to Vick’s dogfighting incident as part of his section on off-field player behaviour. Despite the fact that the quarterback wasn’t caught and imprisoned until 2007, authorities discovered that “Bad Newz Kennels” sponsored dog fights had been place on Virginia Tech’s grounds since at least 2002.

So, how does any of this relate to Vick’s alleged game-rigging? Florio revealed his explanation concerning Matt Ryan’s erratic season and the Falcons’ 7-9 finish, which he claims he’s already expressed publicly. After a 5-2 start, Atlanta dropped five of their last seven games.

“Statistically, Vick’s performances ranged from fantastic to terrible. Is it ridiculous to believe that another dogfighter might have threatened to blow the whistle on Vick’s secret lifestyle if he didn’t agree to have a well-timed poor game that contributed to his team’s failure to win or [an] inability to cover whatever point spread was applied in this world of dogfighting, which was fundamentally a platform for gambling?”

Florio, Mike

As Florio pointed out, the NFL seemed to have overlooked that issue. As a consequence of the dogfighting, the league fined Vick for breaching its player behavior rules.

Vick established an NFL quarterback record with 1,039 running yards that season, but he only completed 52.6 percent of his throws for 20 touchdowns (a career best) and 13 interceptions. Vick had four games in which he completed fewer than 53% of his passes in his last nine games. During that time, he also threw 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Although Florio’s notion is fascinating, the mechanics of possibly tossing games are too complicated.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. After a 2006 defeat, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick walks off the field | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Before we go any further, it’s important to clarify that we’re not accusing Vick of game-rigging. The following thoughts are only about Florio’s hypothesis, which he has previously felt safe revealing before publishing it in his new book.

Is it possible that Vick fixed games during the 2006 season? Sure. Quarterbacks, particularly experienced ones like Vick, are one of the few football players who can purposefully underperform for a long period of time without fear of being benched or not getting the ball. The Falcons’ ace dual-threat quarterback, Michael Vick, was almost surely not going to be benched by then-head coach Jim Mora.

Let’s say Vick is a wide receiver or a tight end for the sake of argument. Mora and the Falcons would have benched him or restricted his targets if he struggled with drops (read: purposefully dropped passes). A linebacker who showed little effort on many occasions or a center whose snaps were a little too high would almost certainly be removed. When compared to a kicker who knows he won’t have a standard backup, he could purposefully miss many attempts.

What if Vick wants to throw games without announcing it? On third down, it just takes one overthrow or scrambling and running for a 2-yard gain when a receiver is open 15 yards downfield to sway the game. That much is feasible, yet it seems to be impossible to believe.

Vick acknowledged to helping his fellow convicts choose games and arrange their fantasy football teams in a 2018 interview with USA Today Sports. Do anything you want with it.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in 2006.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in 2006. | Bob Snow/Macon Telegraph/Tribune News Service via Getty Images | Did Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick throw games in 2006?

In terms of the notion that Vick’s performances in 2006 were too uneven, keep in mind that he completed 53.8 percent of his passes in six seasons with the Falcons and subsequently acknowledged to not studying hard enough.

The basic issue is that we have never heard anything credible in the previous 15 years about folks in Vick’s camp urging him to toss games. Although the hypothesis is fascinating, we may have to wait until Florio’s next book to find the truth about the Falcons’ 2006 season.

To obtain assistance, call the National Council on Problem Gambling’s hotline at 1-800-522-4700 in the United States. The free Crisis Text Line connects you with a certified crisis counselor by texting HOME to 741-741.

RELATED: Michael Vick Is Disappointed in His Handling of the Dogfighting Scandal: ‘That’s a Blemish I’ll Never Be Able to Remove’

Michael Vick, former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was rumored to have rigged games during his final season with the team. This sparked controversy and led to a lawsuit from an opposing player. The NFL has not yet commented on this situation. Reference: nfl rumors: patriots.

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