PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Michael Vick is back pitching products.
Vick has signed his first paid endorsement contract since his release from prison. The Philadelphia Eagles' Pro Bowl quarterback inked a two-year contract with Unequal Technologies, a provider of the football pads Vick wore most of last season.
The deal will be announced on Thursday.
"We're real excited about it," chief executive officer Rob Vito said Tuesday. "Michael is good people. He paid his dues. President Obama reached out to him. He deserves an opportunity. This is what makes America so great. He's moved forward. He's a whole other person."
Vito said Vick is the company's first corporate spokesman. Terms of his deal weren't disclosed. But Vito said it's a "sizable" contract.
"We believe it was worth it," he said, "because of Michael Vick and how he can shed light on the technology of our products."
Unequal Technologies makes several shock-blocking sports pads. When Vick returned after missing three games with a rib injury, he wore a vest designed by Unequal. He later wore shoulder pads and thigh pads made by the company.
"The Unequal technology is a part of my game now and I won't play without my Unequal," Vick said in a statement acquired by the Associated Press. "Unequal's protective power gives me a whole new level of confidence in my game. It makes me feel invincible."
Vick was once the NFL's highest-paid player and he endorsed many products during his six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. But Vick lost everything following his 2007 arrest and later conviction on dogfighting charges, for which he served 18 months in federal prison.
He returned to the NFL in 2009 with the Eagles, and worked his way from a seldom-used third-string quarterback to the key cog on a division-winning team. He will start for the NFC in the Pro Bowl this weekend.
Vick appeared in a television commercial for a car dealership last month. However, he didn't get paid for it. He was compensated by having use of a Nissan sport utility vehicle.
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