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Vick signing a test of Philly's famed brotherly love

  • Story Highlights
  • Michael Vick signs deal with Philadelphia Eagles, could play in October
  • Craigslist ticket seller says he, son don't want to see "Vick in an Eagles jersey"
  • Several Eagles fans tell CNN affiliates they are excited by prospect of Vick's arrival
  • Animal lovers still reluctant to give Vick a chance after almost two years in prison
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(CNN) -- The City of Brotherly Love isn't exactly embracing the news that one-time quarterback phenom and convicted dogfighter Michael Vick is joining their Philadelphia Eagles.

Former Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick, right, was known more for his elusiveness than his throwing prowess.

Former Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick, right, was known more for his elusiveness than his throwing prowess.

Vick's agent announced Thursday that the former Atlanta Falcon signed a two-year deal with the Eagles, which reportedly could be worth more than $6 million. He won't be able to play a regular season game until week six in October, and then, only if the National Football League fully reinstates him.

"Too bad they don't have him for the whole year," Eagles fan Charles James told CNN affiliate philly.com.

The NFL indefinitely suspended Vick in August 2007 after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation in Virginia. Vick, 29, left a Kansas prison in May to serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement.

Some Eagles fans don't think Vick's punishment was sufficient and were trying to unload their game and season tickets on craigslist.com, making it clear they were less than eager to see Vick in Philly green. iReport.com: What do you think of Vick's return?

A post from one irked fan looking to peddle two lower-level season tickets said: "The last thing my son and I want to see is Michael Vick in an Eagles jersey. We made up our mind to sell the tickets ... $3000 cash gets the tickets. Any info feel free to ask, serious buyers only, I want the deal done fast."

Lower-level season tickets were selling on an unrelated auction site for as much as $10,000 a pair.

Bob Jenkins of northeast Philadelphia predicted most Eagles fans -- known to be some of the nation's most demanding -- won't be badmouthing the decision.

"The only people who won't be quiet are the people who don't like the Eagles," Jenkins told philly.com. "Of course, they're going to be talking because he's going to be throwing some touchdowns."

Despite Jenkins' assumption, it's unclear what role Vick will play on the team. A gifted athlete known more for his dazzling runs than his pinpoint throws, Vick's last season in 2006 was a bit of a disappointment to Atlanta fans.

The Falcons finished 7-9, and Vick had a completion percentage of 52.6. He also threw for 2,474 yards, more than 1,000 fewer yards than the Patriots' Tom Brady, who completed 62 percent of his passes, and almost 2,000 yards behind the Colts' Peyton Manning, who completed 65 percent of his tosses.

However, Vick also ran for 1,039 yards, the most ever by a quarterback.

Mike Giunta of Tabernacle, New Jersey, told CNN affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia that signing Vick would spawn "dissension" among the Eagles, who made it to their conference championship last season, losing to the Arizona Cardinals.

Giunta predicted the move would create consternation between Vick and five-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb.

"McNabb's going to be looking over his shoulder constantly now," Giunta said.

McNabb said in a Thursday news conference that he welcomed the addition of Vick and he "pretty much lobbied to get him here because everybody deserves a second chance."

Several Eagles fans concur. One of them, Leroy Emerson of north Philadelphia, told philly.com, "That was the best move the Eagles ever made, one of the best."

Some fans, however, were licking their wounds and pointing to the most severe dogfighting allegations leveled against Vick: that he hanged dogs from trees, electrocuted and drowned them.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have both skewered Vick. The latter alluded to Vick being a "psychopath" earlier this year and released a statement Friday saying, "Millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed" in the Eagles.

"PETA certainly hopes that Vick has learned his lesson and feels truly remorseful for his crimes -- but since he's given no public indication that that's the case, only time will tell," the statement said.

Upon being conditionally reinstated to the NFL last month, Vick acknowledged making "terrible mistakes" and said he had used the past two years to re-evaluate his life.

The Humane Society of the United States has said Vick also offered to work with the organization on its anti-dogfighting campaign.

To some Eagles fans, though, the nature of Vick's crimes is too much to forgive.

"I'm just a little upset with it because I'm such an animal lover," Susan Wilson of Pitman, New Jersey, told WPVI.

Kelley Williams of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, told the station that she, too, had trouble accepting Vick's signing.

"I think he should be out of the NFL altogether," she said.

Sports talk shows already are predicting that Vick can redeem himself only by making big plays, and at least some of the Philadelphia faithful concur he can shut up his critics on the field.

"If they keep him," fan James told philly.com, "he'll be the man."

All About Michael VickNational Football LeaguePhiladelphia Eagles

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