It's a looming issue for the National Football League. Tom Brady is having a typically wonderful year and his New England Patriots seem to have returned to their machine like precision, mauling every team in their path.
The NFL would love to have Brady win the Most Valuable Player award this year. But that may not happen.
Enter Michael Vick.
His very return to football after serving prison time on severe dog abuse charges was in debate. Most figured that the out of shape former Atlanta Falcon would sit the bench for a good team or start for a bad team. After all, he was a potentially exciting, yet mediocre quarterback in his first stint. What would be the difference this time?
He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and made promises of commitment to coach Andy Reid. Vick's new approach to work and preparation has given a picture of what could have been a Hall of Fame career had he not wandered off the legitimate path and engaged in dog fighting. He now does the right things, says the right things, and makes you want to believe.
But there's still the heinous nature of his crimes. Vick didn't just get into a bar fight or end up at the wrong place at the wrong time. He caused dogs to suffer purposefully.
This begs the question, can the NFL honor a man with such a heinous crime in his past? Or is complete redemption possible?