The Eagles insisted on a two-year contract, and when Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion in the 2010 opener and Vick dazzled in his place, Reid pounced. He named Vick his starter after two games, and when the quarterback backed up the leap of faith over the next nine games, there was no turning back.
There were hints that the Vick-Reid union wasn't a sustainable one - the three games he missed with broken ribs, the ineffectiveness against the Vikings in Week 16, and the pedestrian performance in the playoffs against the Packers.
But Reid was committed, and the Eagles signed Vick for an additional five years - really, only two in terms of guaranteed money - on Aug. 29, 2011. The news conference announcing the contract was a celebratory one cementing Vick's comeback.
But it's been all downhill since. A short 15 months later, and Vick's days in Philadelphia are numbered. A concussion, the ticking clock on Reid, and the budding Nick Foles suggest the last of Vick as an Eagle.
Rick Burkholder's candid description of Vick on Friday, five days after he suffered a concussion against the Cowboys, implied that he would be sidelined longer than Sunday's game at Washington.
The Eagles' head athletic trainer described Vick as "foggy," "not very alert," "tired all the time," and "heavy-eyed." Burkholder did later say that by the time Vick undergoes testing again on Monday he could be fine.
But "when I talk to him," Burkholder said, "he's just not the Michael Vick that I know when he's healthy."
A source close to Vick and not affiliated with the Eagles concurred with Burkholder's assessment. The quarterback is ailing.
Vick kept a low profile all week at the NovaCare Complex. He came in for testing and to be evaluated, but that was the extent of his involvement. He did not attend any meetings and did not advise Foles.
"We just want him to get better. Focus on that," Reid said. "But he's good and he's very close with Nick. He's all in."
The Eagles, meanwhile, had moved on to the Redskins last week and preparing a rookie quarterback for his first NFL start. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said there was "quite of bit of excitement" because of Foles.
A sampling of the locker room found players who were supportive of the rookie and believed he could perform at a high level. And yet, there remained a few - still loyal to Vick - who recognized Foles' and the team's success could spur the end of an era.
A number of Eagles grew up idolizing Vick. One offensive player, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Vick had become a scapegoat for the team's 3-6 record.
"It [isn't] Mike's fault," the player said. "He hasn't been great. He'd tell you that. But we all haven't, from the coaches on down. The line hasn't helped. They've been beat up. The play-calling hasn't helped him, either."
The player would not give specifics about which plays he thought did not help Vick. Reid and Mornhinweg have often been criticized for their pass-happy ways. Some have suggested the injuries on the line warranted more carries for LeSean McCoy and the other running backs.
Vick took a beating in the first nine games. The hit that resulted in the concussion did not appear to be a very hard one.
Vick's play had gotten increasingly worse over the last two seasons, but it's unclear who was more to blame for his regression - the mad scientist or his creation? There will eventually be plenty of spinning from both sides if the season continues on its crash course.
Vick came here under a cloud of controversy. He may not have ended up as Lurie's "agent of change," but he did fulfill his promise to bring awareness to animal cruelty and to dogfighting in inner cities.
As for Reid's football experiment, the only change it is likely to bring about is in his employment.
Contact Jeff McLane at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.