“I hope Michael Vick does not become a Buffalo Bill. I don’t want him, and I know there’s a lot of other people who don’t want him to come there. But it’s not my decision. For me, it’s about personal reasons why I don’t want him on the Bills. We’ll leave it at that.”
Now before you think Kelly’s personal reasons have something to do with Vick’s dog fighting exploits, realize that Kelly and Vick have a little bit of a past. You see, Jim Kelly was a part of a group (Headed by Vick’s former agent, Andrew Joel) that was advising Mike Vick when he first came into the NFL.
I remember seeing a story on Sportscenter in 2001, where Kelly spoke very highly about watching film with Vick, and how the southpaw was able to read defenses pretty well. Well, that didn’t last. Here’s an excerpt from an ESPN story about Vick’s business dealings.
As he prepared for the draft, Vick signed a contract with Andrew Joel of Richmond, Va., that gave Joel the exclusive rights to make deals for Vick to endorse products and make personal appearances. The agreement with Joel required Vick to pay Joel an astounding 25 percent of any deals Joel made.
Vick’s deal with Joel did not last long. Joel’s first action for Vick was to send him to Buffalo, N.Y., in January 2001 to study with Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and learn how to conduct himself as an NFL star. Less than a day into Camp Kelly, Vick was ready to depart.
In what Joel’s lawyers later called a conspiracy, Vick claimed illness and demanded a ride to the Buffalo airport. There, Joel claims, Vick met Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks to discuss marketing firms that would charge less than 25 percent. Vick and Brooks traveled back to Norfolk and tried to fire Joel.
Look, I don’t want Vick here as much as the next guy, but lets clarify that Kelly’s conflict with Vick goes beyond what he did on the field. In essence, Vick kind of fired Jim Kelly. So before we go out and put Kelly’s opinion to the holy grail of what’s right and wrong with pro sports in Buffalo, realize that he kind of has some sour grapes towards Vick.