Vick polishing off vanishing act
July, 23, 2007
By ordering Michael Vick not to show up at Falcons training camp, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell preserved the chance for Falcons owner Arthur Blank to decide whether he wants Vick on his team. Goodell made it clear the Falcons cannot discipline Vick until the league investigates this case, but he clearly is on the way out of Atlanta. Goodell toed a tightrope in making this decision. He's not suspending Vick, but he's also not giving him the chance to operate as an NFL player. The loophole appears to be the timing of his federal hearing in Richmond, Va. Vick couldn't show up for the start of camp because he has to surrender himself to authorities that day. That technically put him in breach of his contract for a day, but naturally, Blank and Goodell could have excused him for that day. They didn't. Vick's presence at camp could have turned the Falcons' facility into a circus complete with protests by members of PETA. Vick is the fastest athlete ever seen at the quarterback position, but the speed with which his career is vanishing before our eyes is amazing. All along, I felt Vick would have this season to prove himself, then the Falcons would move a different direction. Now, the weight of this dogfighting case is so heavy that Vick will have to fight to be able to return to his team. What he needs to find out Thursday is whether the case is going to be on the 2007 or 2008 calendar. Now that Goodell has his season in flux, Vick might as well be prepared not to play if the trial schedule is set for the fall. Still pondering decision? Don't count out Tarik Glenn for the 2007 season yet. Glenn is supposed to return from Mexico in the next 24 hours to meet with Tony Dungy, Bill Polian and the Colts organization. Although Glenn, perhaps the best left tackle in franchise history, is thinking about retiring, the Colts want him to take time to think about whether that is the right decision. They aren't standing in his way, but they also believe he still has good football left in him. They want him to contemplate whether getting out of football now is the right decision for his life. The Colts worry he could gain too much weight if he isn't properly prepared for retirement, and they want to make sure he would maintain his health out of football. It's likely they would give him time off in camp to make sure his decision-making is right. One thing we know for sure: Glenn isn't doing this to get more money. It's a life decision, not a contract ploy.
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