Suspended quarterback Michael Vick will begin working with a trainer and start football-related workouts shortly after being released from prison next week, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Vick will finish the final two months of his 23-month federal sentence on dogfighting charges under home confinement in Hampton, Va. He has been imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kan., since fall of 2007 after pleading guilty to funding an interstate dogfighting operation that was based at a home he owned in Surry County, Va.
Vick, who is still a member of the Atlanta Falcons, hopes to return to the NFL as soon as possible. Getting back in shape and trying to regain some of the skills that could have subsided while he was out of the game is part of the process. Vick will be put through conditioning and passing workouts and is said to have plenty of people who have committed to running passing routes for him, the source said.
Vick will not immediately jump into the workouts upon his return, according to the source. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will keep a low profile and reconnect with his family in Hampton, which is located near his hometown of Newport News. He will follow all legal guidelines, which are still being finalized, in order to fulfill his obligation for a July release.
Vick has been offered a construction job as part of a possible work-release program. He was supposed to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity, but that deal fell apart weeks ago.
Vick, at some point, is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, although the details of that meeting have yet to be determined. Vick remains indefinitely suspended and must prove to Goodell that he’s worthy of reinstatement.
“Once Michael has concluded his legal proceedings, I will sit with Michael, his representatives and other professionals to understand all the circumstances,” Goodell wrote in an NFL.com chat last month. “This will include: Has he learned from his horrific mistakes? Is he prepared to conduct himself in a positive fashion? And as such, continue a professional football career? Before I make my decision, it will be up to Michael to demonstrate the genuineness of his remorse and how he plans to be a positive influence.”
Whether reinstatement happens in time for the 2009 season is unknown. An NFL spokesman said Friday that no meetings between Goodell and Vick have been scheduled, adding that Vick will have to apply for reinstatement but has yet to do so.
Meanwhile, the Falcons have said they are trying to trade Vick’s rights, but that, as of now, there has been no interest.
Vick recently met with former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy to discuss Vick’s past and future. The highly respected Dungy retired from coaching after the 2008 season, in part to help with his charitable and civic-based foundations and work with at-risk youths.