Eagles fans, who can be unforgiving, appear to be mostly in a forgiving mood when it comes to Michael Vick joining the team.

The signing of Vick, the former Atlanta QB who spent 18-months in prison in a dogfighting cruelty case, is bound to dominate water cooler discussions today and commuters in Center City offered a prelude to some of the themes.

Much of the talk was about second chances and how this will benefit the Eagles. But some are not happy at all, as can been seen from some of the comments to this story, because of Vick's troubled past.

"Too bad they don't have him for the whole year," said Charles James, referencing the possibility that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell might require Vick to sit out the first five games of the season.

"If they keep him, he'll be the man," said James, of North Philadelphia. "It was a big mistake what he did and he paid for it. He deserves another chance."

"He deserves a second chance," said Doug Brown and Leroy Emerson of North Philadelphia declared, "That was the best move the Eagles ever made, one of the best."

Shantae Thorpe of Mount Airy said it was time to move on from the dogfighting controversy.

"I think we should let bygones be bygones and start afresh." she said.

Carol Elko, a Northeast Philadelphia resident, agreed.

"I think down South that animal thing is normal," she said. "I think he got caught up in it and he learned his lesson and he deserves a second chance."

Other Eagles fans were not so happy about the newest hire.

"I thought they could have picked somebody else," said Dina Allen of Mount Airy. "I think I would have taken TO [Terrell Owens] before [him]."

Abbie Klebanoff, who didn't claim to be a die-hard Eagles fan, said the apology was not enough.

"He said he's sorry, but I think what he did was horrible."

Bob Jenkins, of Northeast Philadelphia, said true Eagles fans won't be bad-mouthing the decision.

"The only people who won't be quiet are the people who don't like the Eagles, he said, "Of course they're going to be talking because he's going to be throwing some touchdowns."

For some, the criticism against Vicks has gone a little too far.

"Other people get another chance," said Paul Kelley, of Center City. "When [Phillies piyther] Brett Myers beat his wife, everyone stopped talking about him a week later."

Charles Johnson, a New Castle, Del., resident said the criticism was hypocritical.

"Are we going to punish him because he's not a carpenter or electrician? They can go to jail, come out and work again," he said. "Martha Stewart is a back and she's on television. Not that I am against animals, but she harmed humans."

For Richardeena Harden, gaining Vicks is a plus, but her heart still belongs the current star quarterback Donovan McNabb.

"I love him dearly . . .," she said. "I hope nothing happens to McNabb because he's got plays that are incredible. But if something happens to McNabb they can put Vicks in."

Benjamin Lee, of Center City, said that the former king of football was getting a demotion.

"It is a slap in the face. Here he just received $1.6 million the first year and $5.6 million the second year," Lee said. "That doesn't even come close to what he was making before, but he'll persevere."

"I really look forward to going to the Superbowl this year," said Lee.

Contact staff writer Naomi Nix at 215-854-2797 or nnix@phillynews.com