Michael Vick is back in the NFL. Sort of.
Vick can participate without delay in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games — if he can find a team that will sign him.
Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities other than games, but could play as soon as October. via.
Goodell is expected to make an announcement later this afternoon. I’m especially curious to see if anybody decides to roll the dice with Vick and bring him into camp. I still think the climate for signing Vick now–or even in August–isn’t right. But this was the first step in his potentially returning to the NFL, and I think the timing of the decision is good. It should bring a lot of mainstream buzz, both good and bad, as teams head to training camp later this week.
UPDATE: Darren Rovell thinks that Vick’s reinstatement might be a move to keep him out of the UFL. It’s not as terrible an argument as it might sound; the worst thing that could happen to the NFL is if Vick’s road to redemption ran through a rival league. Competition makes discrimination more expensive, and whether or not you think Vick’s well-documented antics were especially heinous, he’s done the time, and the league’s (read: Goodell’s) efforts to keep him off the field have been enacted arbitrarily. But now we’ll see who’s really interested in getting Vick–meaning less speculation from people that don’t know anything anyway, and that’s always a good thing.
The dog days of sports just got a little less dogged. Arf!