When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell considers Michael Vick’s potential return to professional football from his indefinite suspension, he will be looking for evidence that the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is truly sorry for the mistakes he made.
“I’m not going to make a judgment until I know all the facts on Michael Vick,” Goodell said Wednesday at the league’s winter meetings, according to USA Today. “I think it’s clear he’s paid a price, but to a large extent he’s going to have to demonstrate to the larger community — not just to the NFL community and to me — that he has remorse for what he did and that he recognizes mistakes that he made. ”
“Everyone makes mistakes, but he has to show that genuine remorse in his ability to be a positive influence to correct the things that he did wrong publicly,” he added, according to the report.
Vick is nearing the end of a 23-month federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting ring. As of Wednesday, he was being transported from federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., on his way to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearing, scheduled for April 2 in Newport News, Va.
Vick, who was once the NFL’s highest-paid player, owes millions of dollars to creditors. He is also facing fresh charges from the U.S. Department of Labor that he illegally withdrew more than $1.3 million from a pension plan of a company he owned.
His plan for paying his creditors is based largely on his intention to resume his NFL career.
The Falcons still hold the contract rights to Vick but have said they will try to trade him. Vick’s bankruptcy plan would allow him to keep the first $750,000 of his annual pay. After that, a percentage would go to his creditors based on a sliding scale.
On Wednesday, Goodell acknowledged that Vick has already paid a price for his mistakes, according to USA Today. But Goodell didn’t hint at whether that will factor into his decision, or whether Vick could be reinstated for the 2009 season.
“I haven’t sat down and looked at his case,” Goodell said, according to the report. “I haven’t met with him. I haven’t understood where he is. I’m not going to try to guess.”