Michael Vick back in the NFL

Michael Vick is back in the NFL. Now all he needs is a team to play for. Vick, free after serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday. He could participate in regular-season games as early as October.

This is a July 2009 file photo showing former Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick arriving at federal court in Norfolk

This is a July 2009 file photo showing former Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick arriving at federal court in Norfolk

NEW YORK — Michael Vick is back in the NFL. Now all he needs is a team to play for.

Vick, free after serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday. He could participate in regular-season games as early as October.

Vick can immediately take part in pre-season practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two pre-season games — if he can find a team that will sign him. A number of teams have already said they would not.

Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19) at the latest.

Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation on his property in Virginia. At the time, Goodell said Vick must show remorse before he would consider reinstating him.

“I accept that you are sincere when you say that you want to, and will, turn your life around, and that you intend to be a positive role model for others,” Goodell said in his letter to Vick. “I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands.”

“Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited,” the letter said. “I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you.”

Goodell said he spoke to numerous current and former players and coaches as he weighed his decision and that the responses were “very mixed.”

“I do recognize that some will never forgive him for what he did,” Goodell said. “I hope that the public will have a chance to understand his position as I have.”

Vick, once the highest-paid player in the league, said he was grateful for a second chance.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League,” Vick said in a statement released by his agent, Joel Segal. “I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given.

“As you can imagine, the last two years have given me time to re-evaluate my life, mature as an individual and fully understand the terrible mistakes I have made in the past and what type of life I must lead moving forward,” he said.

The announcement came after a busy first week of freedom for Vick, who met with union leaders and Goodell on consecutive days last week. His 23-month federal sentence ended when an electronic monitor was removed from his ankle on July 20 at his home in Hampton, Va.

He met with DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, last Tuesday and, on Wednesday, he sat down with Goodell at a security firm in Allendale, N.J.

Goodell suggested that preventing Vick from playing at the start of the regular season wasn’t punishment but a chance for the quarterback to gradually make a transition back into the league.

“I have thought about every alternative, but I think this gives him the best chance for success,” Goodell said. “We are not looking for failure here. We are looking to see a young man succeed.”

But Vick’s issues are far from over and he needs a team to call his own. So far, the owners of the New York Giants, Jets and Dallas Cowboys have said they had no interest in the 29-year-old quarterback. Neither do the Falcons, who officially released Vick in June.

Vick filed for bankruptcy protection last July, listing assets of about US$16 million and debts of more than $20 million, and has a hearing about his plan to repay his creditors on Friday in Newport News, Va. That plan is built around his ability to make NFL-type money again.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Interior work will start this year on Red Deer hospital project, says infrastructure minister

‘We are committed. This is a top priority,’ says Presad Panda

FILE - Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Consistent pandemic policy has helped Alberta, premier says

Alberta fatality rate lower than Canadian average

The determined look of Terry Fox, as captured by artist Nathan Scott in his statue of the heroic Canadian cancer fundraiser. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)
Clearview Public Schools raise money through Terry Fox school runs

Terry Fox runners have been raising money for 40 years

Deng Mabiour appeared in person in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday afternoon. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds, who was killed at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer last summer. (Advocate file photo)
Trial of man accused of killing Red Deer doctor going ahead

Deng Mabiour is fit for four-week trial that is set to begin Nov. 22

Storage tanks are shown at the Marathon Petroleum Corp. refinery in Detroit on April 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Paul Sancya
U.S. oil comprised 77 per cent of Canada’s foreign oil imports last year: regulator

U.S. oil comprised 77 per cent of Canada’s foreign oil imports last year: regulator

Shaw Communications reports higher second-quarter revenue and earnings

Shaw Communications reports higher second-quarter revenue and earnings

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna rises in the House of Commons following Question Period Monday March 22, 2021 in Ottawa. McKenna is announcing a $1.5-billion program designed to spur green building through retrofits, upgrades and new construction. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal government unveils $1.5-billion plan to boost green building

Federal government unveils $1.5-billion plan to boost green building

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 10, 2009, file photo, former financier Bernie Madoff exits federal court in Manhattan, in New York. Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, has died in prison, a person familiar with the matter tells The Associated Press(AP Photo/David Karp, File)
Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite slips despite energy sector jump; U.S. markets mixed

S&P/TSX composite slips despite energy sector jump; U.S. markets mixed

Diploma exams are optional this fall for high school students, the Alberta government said in a statement Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Grades 7-12 students in Calgary shift to online learning for two weeks

Alberta Education approved a request this week from public and Catholic schools… Continue reading

FILE - Conor McGregor poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 246 mixed martial arts bout in Las Vegas, in this Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, file photo. The UFC intends to welcome a capacity crowd at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2021, when Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor fight for the third time. UFC President Dana White announced his plan Wednesday, April 14, 2021, for the promotion's first sellout show in its hometown since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/John Locher, File)
UFC plans full Vegas crowd in July at Poirier-McGregor fight

The UFC intends to welcome a capacity crowd at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile… Continue reading

Juno Awards signage hangs in downtown Saskatoon on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Organizers of the Juno Awards say they've postponed this year's 50th-anniversary celebration until June 6 "out of an abundance of caution in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith
Juno Awards postpone 50th anniversary show date to June 6 amid COVID-19 pandemic

TORONTO — Organizers of the Juno Awards say they’re postponing this year’s… Continue reading

Most Read