Goodell starts to focus on Vick’s future
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – Commissioner Roger Goodell is beginning to focus on evaluating Michael Vick’s future in the NFL.
That doesn’t mean a decision will come any time before the 2009 regular season begins in September.
Goodell said Thursday his decision on whether to reinstate the former Atlanta Falcons star quarterback, convicted on federal charges of running a dogfighting ring, will come “in due time.”
The Associated Press asked the commissioner during a telephone interview if he is seeing signs yet in Vick of remorse and contrition. Goodell has outlined those as prerequisites to possibly granting Vick’s wish to resume his career. He is currently suspended.
“No, we’re beginning to focus on evaluating the situation. I haven’t spoken to him,” Goodell said.
The commissioner said he won’t sit down with Vick until after the former quarterback is released July 20 from home confinement and federal custody.
“I haven’t given a timeline, other than after he’s concluded his legal (case),” Goodell said.
When asked if the season starting would become a factor in his decision, Goodell reiterated the ruling will come “in due time.”
The man who used to be the highest-paid player in the NFL is currently making $10 an hour as a construction worker while the final two months of his sentence winds down with home confinement in Hampton, Va. He was released from federal prison in Kansas on May 20.
The Falcons released him this month, less than five years after they signed the former Pro Bowl quarterback to a $130 million contract. Vick is free to sign with any NFL team, but none has stated it intends to offer him a chance to restart his career.
That includes the Seahawks, who are coached by Jim Mora, Vick’s former coach in Atlanta.
Mora said two weeks ago he believes Vick deserves a second chance in the league because “he’s paid his debt to society.” But Mora added: “I’ll just say this for the record: We are very happy with the quarterbacks we have on our roster. We have no intentions of adding another player to our roster at this time.”
He then caught himself, knowing “at this time” would invite rumors that Seattle’s stance might change on Vick once he is a free man later this summer.
Mora made it clear it won’t.
“Just cut out the ‘at this time,’ because then people will speculate for the next three months,” the coach said, chuckling. “We have no intentions of adding a quarterback to our roster.”