HAMPTON, Va. — The electronic monitor came off Michael Vick’s ankle and made him a free man Monday.
Now he just has to get on Roger Goodell’s calendar and convince both the NFL commissioner and team owners he’s reformed and ready to play.
It’ll be no small task.
Vick’s release after serving 23 months on a dogfighting conviction — the last 60 days in home confinement — came a week before NFL training camps open for veterans.
“It is going to take a lot of hard work” for Vick to make it back, said New York Jets veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.
“He is a talented player, so someone will give him a shot,” Cotchery added.
“He just has to take advantage of it.”
The last NFL game Vick played was on Dec. 31, 2006, months before he was indicted on federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in July 2007. At 29 years old, Vick could play several more years in the league.
That begins with a face-to-face meeting with Goodell, who has said he wants to see remorse and evidence of change from the player he suspended indefinitely.
The last time they met, about two years ago, Vick denied his dogfighting involvement.
Goodell has repeatedly said he would only meet with Vick after he completed his prison sentence, but it’s unclear when that meeting will take place.
“The review of his status is ongoing, but we are providing no other details at this time,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday.
After Goodell comes the teams.
The owners of the Jets and the New York Giants said Monday that they have no interest in signing Vick. Giants owner John Mara and Jets owner Woody Johnson were emphatic in saying their teams’ quarterback positions were filled.
“On a lot of levels, no,” Mara said when asked if the Giants had any interest in Vick.
Mara added there wasn’t even any discussion or debate in the front office about Vick.
Despite the competition to replace Brett Favre, Johnson said the Jets also weren’t interested.
“We’ve got Kellen Clemens and now we have this young Mark Sanchez, and I think we are good on quarterbacks,” Johnson said, adding that the Jets also didn’t see Vick as an option.