After seeing backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski dislocate his finger in the team's third preseason game on Sunday, the Steelers agreed to a contract with Michael Vick on Tuesday, according to reports.
Vick, who shares a bond with Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin, appeared in 10 games for the Jets last season, and completed 52.9 percent of his passes, throwing for 604 yards overall. The NFL's all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks ran 26 times for 153 yards in 2014, too.
It's assumed that Vick will become the No. 2 passer on the depth chart for the Steelers, setting up behind Ben Roethlisberger and ahead of Landry Jones. Gradkowski, meanwhile, is heading to the injured reserve list. Now 35, Vick will be suiting up for his 13th year in the NFL.
The Steelers and Ravens will play each other on Oct. 1 and Dec. 27. While Roethlisberger hasn't missed a start the last two seasons, his physical style of play means there's always a chance that the Steelers will have to turn to their backup at some point during the year.
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Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.
1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning.
2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”
July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.
The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.
Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.
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Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.
The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.
“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”
Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.
“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”
Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.
The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.
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