Reinstatement for Vick is only step one

Michael Vick is free to be an NFL player again, but what happens now?

Michael Vick is free to be an NFL player again, but what happens now? (AP photo)

Note to Michael Vick: This wasn’t the hard part.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has conditionally reinstated Vick and, as expected, he likely will make him sit out the first month of the regular season. But finally getting the league’s blessing to resume his career is only the first hurdle Vick has to overcome.

Initially, the biggest thing working against Vick is the calendar. NFL teams open training camps this weekend. The league’s coaches are notorious control freaks when it comes to atmosphere. General managers are similar when it comes to the roster. The league’s owners are trying to sell tickets and sponsorships in a depressed economy. The last thing anybody wants to deal with right now is the kind of stir that a Vick signing is going to create — just before training camp.

Nobody wants demonstrations. Nobody wants helicopters flying over head. Nobody wants the media circus.

Do I believe a team will take a flier on him? Yes. (Early guesses: Redskins, Raiders, Dolphins, Rams, Saints). But this isn’t going to be an easy leap for some franchise to take.

Understand something: If this was February, a team could take the initial PR hit in the winter and have it likely die down (somewhat) by late summer. Now, if Vick is signed right away, the storm will follow his team through training camp, the pre-season and into the regular season. What also needs to be weighed is what kind of positive impact the former Pro Bowl quarterback can have on a team this season? Vick obviously won’t have time to fully digest a playbook or work with an offense. So his contribution could be limited (goal-line situations, etc.).

The question: Given the backdrop, will that be worth it for a team? After nearly two years, Vick will need time get back in shape and acclimate himself to public life again.

In a statement released to the Associated Press, Vick said: “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.”

Let us hope that is the case.

I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: I hope Vick rehabilitates himself, not merely for his career but for his life and his children. But reinstatement from Roger Goodell is only step one.

129 comments Add your comment

Falconfan

July 27th, 2009
4:28 pm

I’d take a shot on him as a potential 3rd down QB that can run or threaten a deep pass at any moment, Washington and Miami should give him a try…..

DHD

July 27th, 2009
4:31 pm

AJC: All Vick, all the time. Sick.

Fish Bisch

July 27th, 2009
4:32 pm

I love Michael Vick

Fish Bisch

July 27th, 2009
4:33 pm

Hopefully he will play in the Wildcat with the falcons

Jacquelyn

July 27th, 2009
4:34 pm

I am so happy that he has been reinstated. I just hope people realize that he has completed his sntence and deserves the right to move forward. Thanks NFL for giving him another chance! Now Mike it’s your turn!!!!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 27th, 2009
4:35 pm

I think Goodell has handcuffed any team from taking a chance on Vick.. Who wants to sign a guy who can’t play till the middle of Oct. All the team’s you named will be out of the playoff race by then. Did you really say the Saints. I’m pretty sure Drew Brees is an ok QB or are you banking on an injury.

Dave

July 27th, 2009
4:36 pm

I’m glad I don’t have a son to explain this crap to. On a happier note, my 7 year old daughter did ask me this weekend why Michael Jackson tried to make himself look like a woman. By the way, the Braves are picking up steam.

Reid Adair

July 27th, 2009
4:36 pm

It almost seems as if Roger Goodell waited this long on purpose. You’re right that coaches, general managers and owners are not looking for distractions at this time of year. And, despite what they may have said, you can rest assured than when Michael Vick signs with an NFL team, PETA will have its minions out there, parading around for any and all television and still cameras.

The worst is certainly yet to come for Vick. I guess we’ll see just how much he has “matured.”

Ralph Jones

July 27th, 2009
4:43 pm

Most likely he will end up violating his parole, and end up kicked out of the league. Roger Goodell let Pac Man Jones back in the league and look how well that turned out.

Bandwagon Falcon fan

July 27th, 2009
4:45 pm

I wish Vick the best. What he did was horrible but he did pay his price. I see the Bufallo Bills taking a chance on him. Vick and T.O would sell tickets.

brave1

July 27th, 2009
4:48 pm

I’ll be interested how the contract negociations go.
The first comment says he’d be interested in Vick as a 3rd down QB. How much does that pay? Is Vick humbled enough to take mediocre money or is the agent and himself going to have too much pride (and perceived value)?

michaelgee

July 27th, 2009
4:51 pm

Will you guys ever get off Vick’s thang? Sheesh, what a bunch of small town sports guys. We do actuially have the Rookie of the Year, the greatest TE ever tp pplay the game, the best RB in the NFl and much more as well a potentially great team here. Why must the ajc wallow in the convicted crimnals waste forever? Cover the team or go write for a tabloid.

Pete

July 27th, 2009
4:53 pm

The Raiders will sign him. No doubt. I feel EXTREMELY confident about this…

Russ

July 27th, 2009
4:53 pm

That would be hilarious if Vick was ever the starting QB on a team with T.O. Owens threw relatively accurate passers (Garcia, McNabb, and Romo) under the bus for not getting him the ball enough. Can you imagine how he’d react to Vick’s passes that would constantly be sailing over his head or bouncing at his feet. Priceless.

dan

July 27th, 2009
4:54 pm

Yay a full years worth of Michael Vick stories! ugh!!

Tide Rising

July 27th, 2009
4:56 pm

I see that the AJC today has an article on a big finch fighting ring that was broken up. Finches and canaries.

If Vick gets booted from the NFL again then maybe he can take up the illegal but burgeoning finch fighting circuit.

Bandwagon Falcon fan

July 27th, 2009
4:58 pm

Russ good point. Think about the blame game after a loss with those two guys. Still I would tune in to the game.

al

July 27th, 2009
4:58 pm

Who gives a bleep about PETA?

Trainwreck

July 27th, 2009
4:58 pm

Good Luck MV

db

July 27th, 2009
5:02 pm

The timing is strange. I feel the same that no team wants the media circus right now because they’re trying to build team chemistry and any distractions are bad. Raiders may be willing though as they need some good press. How is Jamarcus Russell doing? If I recall he has struggled, and if so, that would make Vick more appealing.

Paul H

July 27th, 2009
5:04 pm

All depends on which team is desperate enough to be willing to deal with the publicity nightmare. The biggest problem is no one wants to be the “first” team. Once he is signed with someone, other teams will jump on later.

Mac

July 27th, 2009
5:04 pm

He’ll be a Carolina Panther by the weekend.

Elmo

July 27th, 2009
5:05 pm

The bottom line is that it’s a business and there are really not any good back-ups that can match his talent. He is Al Davis kind of people. “Just Win Baby” (before I croak)

cawren

July 27th, 2009
5:05 pm

By taping the mouth shut of a defenseless puppy or stray dog is how they teach the pit bulls to fight. So they can get a taste of blood with out getting hurt. .Mr. Vick is a piece of refuse that so happens to be an athlete. The only way that the NFL wouldn’t let one of their golden boys play is if they killed another football player and even that is debatable. No wonder our young people are confused between what is right and wrong. This nasty human will now make millions of dollars in front of a cheering crowd. So it must be OK to participate in the cruel crime of dog fighting. In our society money is reward, lets give a standing ovation to the low life.

Vick's 5-STEP Program

July 27th, 2009
5:06 pm

STEP 1: Reinstatement

STEP 2: Gain Literacy

STEP 3: Put Down the Crack Pipe

STEP 4: Learn How to Decipher an NFL Playbook

STEP 5: Failing STEPS 2-4, Retire in Disgrace

I hope Vick plays. . .

July 27th, 2009
5:07 pm

the Falcons twice this year. It will translate to two wins for the Falcons. Let Vick disappoint another team.

I hope Vick plays. . .

July 27th, 2009
5:08 pm

P.S.: I don’t care about the crime(s) you committed. I thought you were overrated and glorified for no reason in your “prime”.

Nostradamus

July 27th, 2009
5:22 pm

Vick = The ANTI-Hank Aaron, The ANTI-Matt Ryan

Vick has repeatedly demonstrated he is too stupid to behave himself, stay away from vermin and simply OBEY THE LAW!

This disgrace of the entire sport of football and human life will be back in prison orange before he is ever back in an NFL uniform.

You can take THAT to bank, Vick Lovers!

bali smith

July 27th, 2009
5:26 pm

Everybody deserves a second chance,. Seems Mr Vick has had about a dozen already. Maybe prison has matured Mr vick, I hope so. Just wish 4 or 5 years ago i could have signed a 120 million dollar contract. WWonder if I would have tried to set up a dog fighting Empire with the Money., Do not think so. As momma said stupid is as stupid does…………….. No wait Forest said that

Wink

July 27th, 2009
5:27 pm

The best scenario would have Vick playing for a team in the South that has a dome over their practice facility.

No media circus, just properly credentialed journalists, no helicopters to hover over field, no PETA protesters would be allowed inside. The team & Mike could just concentrate on football. Team could plan an exit strategy from the practice field, conducted by NFL security, which will be assigned to follow him anyway. Once on the street, Mike will be responsible for Mike, just like the rest of the team.

Away games already have team security stategy for entering & exiting the playing field. Fans in the South may be more forgiving, as most follow SEC football, and just rabid fans of football, so once the game starts, it’s just football. As for fan booing, that happens to most players, not just Mike Vick. As for signage, that up to stadium security upon entering the stadium.

So teams that can prevent, or eliminate practice distractions will benefit from the services of Mike Vick. Here’s hoping there really is not a Black Ball List amongst the NFL owners.

Gerald Lewy

July 27th, 2009
5:33 pm

In Roman times it was the Lions against the Christians. Now I believe it should be the Dogs against the Vick. I’ll bet on the Dogs.

Todd Tibbetts

July 27th, 2009
5:36 pm

Vick has a lot of potential at more than just football. I encourage everyone to give him a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes. Leaders grow from their mistakes and learn not to make the same mistake again. Vick is a leader with a lot of potential to positively encourage kids who will grow up in the next generation. Let’s see if he can do something good.

M W Tan

July 27th, 2009
5:37 pm

Michael Vick has given half hearted meaningless apologies for the horrific manner in which he tortured and killed numerous dogs for years. I have heard nothing which indicates that he is rehabilitated. Although news articles indicate that Vick has agreed to do anti-dog fight education for HSUS and ASPCA, their web sites do not indicate that he has actually done any such work. This decision for reinstatement is all about money for the NFL and has nothing to do with justice or even common sense.

DARNELL

July 27th, 2009
5:39 pm

I CANNOT BELIEVE ALL THIS BIGOTRY AND HATE FOR A SINGLE MAN WHO DID ONE LITTLE THING WRONG AND NOW EVERBODY THIS TOWN WANT TO MAKE HIM SUFFER LIKE NO MAN EVER HAS AND DESTROY HIS WHOLE NFL CAREER!!! YOU HATERS WILL NOT BE HAPPY UNTIL THEY GIVE MIKE VICK THE DEAF PENALTY OVER A BUNCH OF SORRY WORTHLESS DOGS!!!!!! WHAT ABOUT THAT HOKEY PLAYER HERE IN ATL THAT KILL HIS TEAM MATE AND DID NOT SPEND A SINGLE DAY IN JAIL???? YEAH!! THATS WHAT I THOUGHT!

whizbang

July 27th, 2009
5:41 pm

He must separate himself from his “boys” and leeching family. If he doesn’t I put his chances of making it at nearly zero.

OneFreeMan

July 27th, 2009
5:42 pm

Good Luck Mike!

Jfreak

July 27th, 2009
5:42 pm

Some think NO team would like the media attention that will come with Vick but I disagree! Take a team that isn’t going to the playoffs anyway and ask yourself what do they really have to lose? Maybe the only way that get people to buy over priced tickets is for chance to see Vick make some crazy play??

He won’t start at QB no matter he goes but he would be a good 3rd string QB in the beginning and it would be nice to have that kind of speed on special teams running kicks back?? Vick presence on a good team probably wouldn’t make sense but on a team that isn’t going anywhere he “could” provide some interest from fans that wouldn’t otherwise bother??

As far as PETA is concerned they are nut cases and should be ignored. Where are they when late term abortions are taking places?? Where? Don’t give me this garbage about a dog when in this country we don’t value the lives of children!

I hope Vick can get things turned around. He gave this City some amazing moments and that should be worth something??

Larry A

July 27th, 2009
5:42 pm

When no one else will take him, I think the Falcons should take him as their backup. We are helping our former star get a new lease on his career. Matt Ryan IS going to get hurt this year, teams are going to come after him and MV is better than any of our other QBs. Worse that happens is he can’t hack 2nd string (or 3rd) and they cut him.

Barry Hardy

July 27th, 2009
5:43 pm

Thank god he is not our problem any more! I hope that LYING P.O.S never plays again maybe he will get mauled by a gang of pit bulls!

Hey Darnell

July 27th, 2009
5:45 pm

Learn how to post without using all caps.

lee

July 27th, 2009
5:47 pm

i wonder what its like to read stories about real atlanta falcon players!! and what the team is team is going to do this year!!! O i am sorry that is a strange concept to expect when I look at the Atlanta Falcon’s sec of the the Ajc!!!!!! so i will look forward to Vick stories the whole football season telling, and hearing comments how he was such a victum of such an unfair world, or what he can or can not bring to a football team!!!! O BOY!!! i can not wait to for this years season and reading all of the wonderful football season!!! i just Baseball could last year round!!!!

Vick Sucks

July 27th, 2009
5:48 pm

Please… I hope whoever picks him up plays my boys… that would be a couple easy wins. Vick in his “prime” sucked… and post prison, will be Mike Tyson like hyped… and blow even worse! Please let him play on every team but mine… in every position, as he should be used to from his sentence.

tyler

July 27th, 2009
5:48 pm

I wish Michael success. And I believe any team that signs him, greatly increases their oppurtunity for a Super Bowl. This young man’s dues are paid, and as far as I am concerned, the haters arguments are personal and bitter, if not racsist.

Welcome back to society and your second chance Mike. You deserve it!!!

I hope you run with it, and I beleive you will.

Curious

July 27th, 2009
5:58 pm

When this issue is boiled down to its basic elements, no one will care about publicity, protests or playbooks. What really matters is getting to the Super Bowl. For some teams, the Mike Vick factor could make the difference.

WHAT UP!!!

July 27th, 2009
6:00 pm

I think it is soooooo FUNNY!!! BWAA HA HA!!!!! He won’t be signed by an NFL team. Maybe UFL.

doggit

July 27th, 2009
6:03 pm

Vick’s 5-STEP Program

hahaha – right on

Paddy

July 27th, 2009
6:10 pm

Darnell.. he didn’t go to federal prison for dog fighting. Dog fighting is not a federal crime. Did you not read the indictment?

Ron Mexico

July 27th, 2009
6:11 pm

MV is smoking a blunt and beating a bulldog.

Falcon Devil

July 27th, 2009
6:15 pm

These media people are so dumb when it comes to predicting where he’ll go. New Orleans? Miami? Vick will not be a wildcat QB, he will be a starting QB by years end. Miami just drafted Pat White geniuses. You don’t bring Vick to a team with a solid QB (Drew Brees) and create controversy. The teams that need him have crappy QB situations : Oakland, San Fran, St. Louis, Buffaloe, Washington, Denver, maybe Jax, maybe Min, maybe Hou.

Archie

July 27th, 2009
6:15 pm

I hope he gets a shot, but I just can’t imagine anybody picking him up. He’s better than half the QBs in the NFL, but he’s not ENOUGH better to make it worth their while to put up with the media circus that will follow him around.