For years -- since 2009, so carry the... -- the prevailing assumption was that Andy Reid's willingness to take chances on guys with spotted pasts had something to do with those of his children.

(Garrett and Britt Reid served 23- and 22-month prison sentences for incidents that happened the same day in 2007. Garrett, 29, was found dead in training camp dorm at Lehigh Sunday.)

For the first time, those assumptions have substance.

According to Peter King, Garrett and Britt directly influenced Andy's decision to sign Mike Vick.

How?

Per King's MMQB:

Andy Reid learned something valuable from his sons' jail terms -- particularly Britt's. He learned there are three phases that inmates who are successful in avoiding a return trip to jail go through. Phase one is blaming everyone else. Phase two is admitting that it's your own fault. Phase three is the vow to yourself that you hate jail, that you're going to avoid the behavior that got you in jail in the first place, and you'll never return.

When Reid met with Vick as he was trying to determine whether to offer him a contract, the most important factor to him was whether Vick was in that third phase. His sons stressed that Vick would always be grateful to the Eagles for giving him a chance to reclaim his life and he'd work daily to show they made the right decision.

Now, it's worth noting that King doesn't cite sources here, the implication being that he's tapping those vast stores of NFL notes and minutiae from the "You've Never Heard This Before" files.

Still, King's proven pretty credible over the years, (if only because he's never been proven not to be) and whatever he's going on likely has enough tack for him to run with it.

Vick signed in 2009, for under-the-circumstances gaudy two-year deal worth $6.8 million.

By comparison, the offer from the Bengals, the only other team to put money on the table for him, was worth $2.3 million over the same span.