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NFL conditionally reinstates Vick

July 27, 2009 at 4:23 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, July 27 (UPI) -- Michael Vick, once a premier professional quarterback until convicted on federal dogfighting charges, was reinstated by the NFL Monday with strings attached.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Vick may play again if he meets certain requirements. Vick will be considered for full reinstatement and could become eligible to play in regular-season games by the weekend of Oct. 18-19, the sixth week of the 2009 season.

He was cut free by the Atlanta Falcons and has been suspended indefinitely since August 2007 after pleading guilty to federal charges. He was freed from custody July 20 after serving 23 months in prison and supervised release and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Vick, 29, led the Falcons to the playoffs once and is third all-time among quarterbacks in career rushing yards.

For now, he can now participate in preseason practices, workouts and meetings. He also may play in the final two preseason games. During the regular season, Vick can participate in all team activities other than games.

The NFL said on its Web site that Vick will be evaluated from time to time by Goodell during his suspension and will be mentored by former Colts coach Tony Dungy. Goodell stipulates that Vick must abide submit a written plan for his future.

"In deciding whether to reinstate a player, I have stressed my belief that playing in the NFL is a privilege. It is not an entitlement," Goodell wrote. "Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited. I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you."

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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