Quarterback Michael Vick to be Released from Prison

You knew it was coming sooner or later and this week we learned that Falcons suspended quarterback Michael Vick will released from prison on May 20th to serve on house arrest.  The former superstar quarterback, who will be totally released on July 20th from federal custody on his 2007 conviction on dogfighting charges, will be on home confinement –- originally sentenced to 23 months.

After many speculated that Vick, 28, would be in a federal halfway house after his release, there were apparently space limitations at such facilities that preclude that from happening, so the mercurial quarterback will now begin acclimating himself back into society from his home.  It is almost a foregone conclusion, that given Vick’s lengthy monetary problems since his guilty plea that the former 2001 NFL first overall pick and his agent Joel Segal will be petitioning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement into the league.  Vick was suspended indefinitely in August of 2007 by Goodell with the Commish saying about his actions, “Your admitted conduct is not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible”.  So it will be up to Vick and his legal team to convince to Goodell that he has indeed not only been rehabilitated, but that he is also ready to humble himself for all of his actions.  Assuredly Vick will need to start by apologizing to the NFL’s head man for lying to him at the 2007 NFL Draft about his part in the extensive dogfighting operation.

The road is long for Michael Vick to return to the NFL, however he has already lived through over a year and half away from a league that has tried to forget him during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. To those that believe the NFL is a closed door to Vick now that he has been released from prison, you better wake-up to the reality that in the National Football League, winning trumps everything.  Each Sunday NFL fans cheer for players that have committed crimes from domestic violence to weapons charges, so why not give Vick a player who actually served legitimate time in prison another chance.  My feeling is that Goodell will allow Vick one more chance by allowing him to return for the upcoming 2009 season.  Hey the Commish has already let notorious NFL problem players Adam “Pacman” Jones, Tank Johnson, Chris Henry and other multiple offenders back in the league, so why not let the former Falcons star back.  I expect the Commissioner’s office to hand down a 4 to 8 game suspension to Vick plus of course they will require him to do some much-needed public service work.  

Upon his release from the Falcons, Vick will be free to negotiate with any team, but any team signing him will surely pay him only the veteran minimum ($760,000 dollars).   So “Where will Michael Vick land?”… we will have to see.  A recent Yahoo Sports article  suggested a few teams as landing spots (Raiders, Cowboys or Bengals). I will add the Rams, Panthers, SF 49ers, and Texans or the new-fangled UFL or maybe Vince McMahon will bring back the XFL just for him.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

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