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Michael Vick's Heartfelt Letter To The City Of Atlanta Is A Must Read

When the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI Sunday (Feb. 5), a familiar face will be in the building. Michael Vick may not be playing quarterback, but will be cheering on the team who once upon a time drafted him first pick overall, back in 2001. The 36-year-old did not play in the NFL this season, and knows it could be time to turn the page onto the next chapter of his life. Today (Feb. 1), Vick had the opportunity to do something that was long overdue: pen a heartfelt letter to the citizens of a city he once carried, the good people of Atlanta, Georgia.

The all-time rushing yards leader as a quarterback played a crucial role in the culture that has been developed for the current Super Bowl-bound Falcon team. Vick spoke on a number of topics concerning himself, and his connection to the city of Atlanta. One major part of his life many fans may not know was how the night of April 26, 2008 changed him. It was rock bottom, the day he lost Atlanta.

I know sometimes people will say it’s like they’ve been “punched in the stomach” when something bad happens … but I’d never really understood the expression, until that moment. Matt Ryan.

I just kept repeating his name, in my head, again and again. Every time I thought about what it meant, it took the air right out of me — but I couldn’t help it. Matt Ryan. As in, the quarterback. Before that moment, I didn’t have much. I didn’t have my money … or my reputation … or, worst of all, my freedom.

But I did have one thing. I had those five words: Mike Vick, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons. And once I heard, Matt Ryan, well … I didn’t have that either. After that, I knew that everything had changed. I knew there was no going back — not to start for Atlanta, not to play for Atlanta, not even to live in Atlanta. Matt Ryan. After that, I knew it was over.

Vick went on to write about how much it meant for him to come home to Atlanta, and be honored at halftime of the final game at the Georgia Dome last month. After everything that he's been through in the past decade, Vick cherished that moment like nothing else. It all finally came full circle.

The lights were so bright — and I just let them wash over me. If I had gone blind, in that moment, then that would have been O.K.The cheers were so loud — and I just let them pour into my ears.

If I had gone deaf, in that moment, then that also would have been O.K.And as we made our way further and further onto the field, it just got brighter, and brighter, and louder, and louder.

I didn’t actually want to die, right then, in front of 70,000 people — but it was one of those moments where you’re thinking, You know what? I could die right here … and that would be O.K., too. It was perfect.

Check out the rest of the must-read letter where Vick expands on his relationship with Matt Ryan, Madden 2005, and much more here. Just make sure there's some kleenex nearby.

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Marshawn Lynch Reportedly Plans To Retire From NFL Again

Pro-footballer Marshawn Lynch might take another indefinite break from the National Football League. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lynch will step away from the turf "after two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders."

CBS Sports reports Lynch prepared to share his decision on staying in the league or exiting after the NFL Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday (April 25). He's been with the Raiders since 2017.

Prior to suiting up for his hometown's team, Lynch launched his pro career with the Buffalo Bills where he was stationed from 2007-2010. Following that stint, the 33-year-old entrepreneur traveled across the country to play for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010-2015.

Following his last year with the Seahawks, Lynch publicized his retirement by posting a picture of hanged up cleats on Twitter. In 2017, Lynch laced up once more to join the Oakland Raiders. During a press conference, Lynch shared that he wanted to play for the team before their move to Las Vegas, as a symbol to young children that someone from their town is a part of this movement.

"With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see someone who actually did it, who is from where they're from, someone they probably idolized," he said, per USA Today. Lynch also shared the atmosphere he would encounter on game days.

"The way we feel about where we're from, and why we represent so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down," he said. "Every home game that I get to come to this [stadium], I'm probably going to be riding with the whole town."

After two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders, Marshawn Lynch is not planning to play football again, league sources tell ESPN.

Now, with the three-day draft kicking off Thursday night in Nashville, the Raiders have one more potential need to address: running back.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2019

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— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016

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Russell Wilson Buys Amazon Stock For Select Teammates

Russell Wilson recently made history as the National Football League's (NFL) highest paid player. To celebrate this wealth, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback purchased Amazon stock worth $12,000 apiece for 13 of the team's offensive linesmen, TMZ reports.

The premise behind the gesture is to help set the players on a lucrative path post-NFL. "We all have dreams of what we can build and accomplish off the field," he wrote in a memo. "One important lesson I have learned thus far in my career: The memories on the field will last forever, but we have to constantly prepare for life after football."

In the letter that was sent to his teammates, Wilson said he was indecisive on what to give them as a sign of his appreciation for their protection on the field. "Some were flashy, some were cool, but I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact," he said. "Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children." According to CNBC, each linesmen's stock could be worth $270,000 in the next 10 years if Amazon's shares continue to result in a return of 2,200 percent.

Earlier this month, Wilson signed a $140 million contract. He'll suit up with the Seahawks for the next four years. The re-signing follows a previous four-year agreement the 30-year-old athlete made with the team.

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

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Russell Wilson Reportedly Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Player

At the end of the NFL's season earlier this year, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his desire to remain in the Rain City but only if his deal could be renegotiated. As of April 15, it appears that Wilson, with the help of his agent Mark Rodgers, received exactly what he asked for.

According to ESPN, Wilson and his team of seven years signed an agreement of a $140 million extension, plus an added $65 million signing bonus, currently making the 30-year-old the highest paid player in the NFL.

With this renegotiation, Wilson not only takes the spot as the richest athlete in the league from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he also set a record with his signing bonus being the highest ever.

Wilson took to his Instagram page to announce the good news with a video featuring his wife, R&B singer Ciara. "Hey Seattle, we got a deal," he said in the clip while lying in bed with Ciara. "Go Hawks. But I'mma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

News of Wilson's deal comes after four days of negotiating between the quarterback's agent and the Seahawks. Wilson and Rodgers had a deadline for midnight for the Seahawks to make a suitable decision. On Tuesday (April 16), prior to the negotiation being set in stone, Rodgers stated that "at the end of the day my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle. Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that."

Wilson's move was welcomed with open arms from Ciara, who took to his Instagram comments to say "So proud of you baby! God is so good! #GoHawks."

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