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Former Falcons QB Mike Vick 'officially retired'

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Mike Vick is officially calling it quits.

The former Falcons quarterback told ESPN on Friday that he is "officially retired" after spending the entire 2016 season without a team.

"I think it's time," the 36-year-old said. "I think going through the 2016 season without playing and being able to be a spectator and watch the game and enjoy it from afar and root for a lot of the players and coaches I once played for, I think kind of summed all it all up for me.

"So now I think I'm officially ready, I'm ready to move on to different things in my life and different facets of my life."

Equally dynamic and controversial, Vick will go down in NFL history as one of the most exciting quarterbacks to ever play the game. His speed and escapability out of the pocket paired with one rocket of an arm were unique qualities at the QB position in the early 2000s, making Vick revolutionary for his time.

Drafted first overall in 2001 by the Falcons, who traded up to get him, Vick started six seasons in Atlanta, leading the Falcons to two playoff appearances and one NFC Championship Game.

However, Vick's career trajectory and reputation were forever changed when it was discovered in 2007 that he ran an illegal dog-fighting operation. Vick was arrested and tried and served a 21-month federal prison sentence as a result of his involvement.

The Falcons cut him soon after his release from prison, but Vick found second life in the NFL with the Eagles. Philadelphia signed the controversial gunslinger in 2009 as a backup, only to see Vick steal the starting role in 2010, when he had the most productive passing season of his career, led the Eagles to an NFC East title and was named the Comeback Player of the Year.

Injuries slowed Vick's production and playing time in 2012 and 2013. The quarterback spent 2014 and 2015 as a backup with the Jets and Steelers, respectively, but started a combined six games there.

Vick finishes his NFL career with 22,464 passing yards and 133 passing touchdowns. Vick is the all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks (6,039 yards) and is the only quarterback to ever rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season (1,039 in 2006).

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