July 16, 2009

Michael Vick a football question mark

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, ending two months of house arrest after 18 months behind bars, is still a team question mark despite support.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell says he'll consider lifting his suspension of Vick, but observes: It's not a right to play in the NFL. It's a privilege.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he doesn't want Vick to return to his team and released him June 12 after numerous attempts to trade him failed.

I doubt (Goodell) would consult me, but I'd recommend that he let (Vick) return, retired Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy tells USA Today. Dungy now ministers to prisoners and visited Vick at his Hampton, Va., home Thursday.

Former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell tells the newspaper he thinks keeping Vick out of football would be a terrible mistake, but a lot of people are dog lovers. They won't forget the injuries to the dogs.

Vick pleaded guilty in 2007 to taking part in an operation that used pit bulls for fighting and executed dogs that didn't measure up.

Besides the prison sentence, Vick forfeited $70 million from a 10-year, $130 million contract, lost millions in endorsements and paid $928,000 in restitution for the care of victimized pit bulls.

He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2008, claiming liabilities of $20.5 million and assets of $16 million.