Goodell: NFL will 'rely on facts' with Vick


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the league has not changed its stance on Michael Vick, despite reports the Atlanta Falcons star has been meeting with his attorneys and is considering making a plea deal with prosecutors in his federal dogfighting conspiracy case.
"We're going to do what we always said we were going to do, which is rely on the facts," Goodell said. "If there is some type of a plea agreement, then we will obviously take the time to understand what that plea is and we'll see how it fits into our personal conduct (policy)."
Goodell, who visited Detroit Lions training camp early Thursday, also said he doesn't believe that Vick-related news is eclipsing enthusiasm about the game itself.

"I don't think it's overshadowing the season," Goodell said. "I think our fans are excited about football, but I understand the interest in the story."
Under an edict from Goodell, Vick is barred from taking part in training camp while the league investigates his role in a dogfighting operation.
Goodell said the league is still working its review and is closely monitoring talks between Vick's lawyers and prosecutors. Under NFL policy, a player can be banned for life for gambling or associating with gambling and Vick might face that penalty.
"(The gambling) is certainly an issue," Goodell said after meeting with the Cleveland Browns at their year-round training facility in Berea, Ohio. "Law enforcement may be concerned about certain things about this. We may be concerned about other aspects of this. That's why we want to evaluate what the government has. We don't know all of the facts on that. Michael's team may not know all the facts at this point in time."
Vick and his attorneys were still negotiating with federal prosecutors Thursday, hoping to strike a deal on a plea agreement, according to a lawyer familiar with the case.
The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because of the ongoing discussions.
The Atlanta Falcons star quarterback pleaded not guilty to dogfighting conspiracy charges in July. Prosecutors, meantime, have said they will seek a superseding indictment this month. Legal experts say the growing parade of prosecution witnesses and the prospect of additional charges increases the pressure on Vick to negotiate a deal.
Vick is scheduled to go to trial Nov. 26.
Vick was linked to betting by a statement signed by former co-defendant Tony Taylor, who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government, and the July 17 indictment.
Two other co-defendants -- Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach,and Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta -- will enter plea agreements on Friday morning, and prosecutors have said they will seek a superseding indictment later this month that could mean additional charges against Vick.
Vick, 27, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
According to the statement signed by Taylor as part of his plea agreement, Vick financed virtually all of the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting enterprise on Vick's property in Virginia.
A search of his property in April turned up dozens of pit bulls, some of them injured, as well as equipment commonly used in dogfighting. The indictment said dogs that lost fights or fared poorly in test fights were sometimes executed by hanging, electrocution or other brutal means. The grisly details have fueled public protests against Vick and have cost him some of his lucrative endorsement deals.
Vick's charges have also hurt the NFL's image in an offseason also marked by suspensions of Adam "Pacman" Jones, Tank Johnson and Chris Henry for off-field conduct. Goodell contends just four players out of about 2,000 in the league are generating most of the scrutiny.
"I've said to Pacman and any player, 'You have to earn your way back into the National Football League and you have to do it through your conduct,"' Goodell said. "It's not about what you tell the commissioner, or what you tell anyone. It's your conduct and your activities. I was disappointed with some of the activities that Pacman got involved this spring, after we had met and had a lot of discussions.
"Michael knows exactly how I feel."
Goodell's visit was well received by the Browns. Several of the players asked questions following the commissioner's 15-minute talk that touched upon subjects ranging from concussions to conduct.
"It was a treat. It broke camp up for 15 or 20 minutes," wide receiver Joe Jurevicius said. "Obviously, he's a man with a lot of power and he'll be the face of the NFL for a while. He's going to do a lot of great things and he came to say that he's not doing this to hurt anybody. He's doing this to help us."
During the Browns' two-hour practice during a humid afternoon, Goodell and former Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar mingled with fans, who had their own questions and comments.
Goodell has sensed nothing but positive feedback and support during his tour of the camps.
"I'm proud of our players. I'm proud of what they do in the communities and on the field," he said. "I think more has to be discussed on that. We have always talked about the game - having the focus stay on football. We're here now and it's football time."


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
From what I heard today, it doesn't seem like it. I believe that he's going to jail. He's the only one left to give his plea, and his lawers are telling him he should plead guilty. If he does then he will face less jail time, but will still serve 12-18 months of prison time. Now the big question is this, if he does go to prison for that period of time. Will his NFL career be over, or a team will take a chance on him?


it's not the gambling so much for me as it is the dog fighting. everyone's been harping on the gambling as how vick'll be banned from the nfl. i'd say sociopathic activity such as killing dogs by drowning, electrocuting, and hanging them is pretty fucked and is the real ban-able account.

paul hornung was caught gambling and he was gone for a year or two. and paul hornung is a class act. unlike:

^that classless piece of human garbage redneck scum (remember, he's from west virginia...WV has one of the highest incest rates in the country) is no paul hornung.


the big question is will the suspension run concurrently to his jail sentence. really, i think vick is in a lot of trouble from the nfl set aside the courts. 1 or 2 years suspension is not enough, i hope the nfl suspends up upwards around 5 years.

not only did he participate and apparantly lead these horrundous crimes, he lied to Roger Goddell, which is really an insult to Goddell as well.

vick could have sold liquor to minors with chris henry, fled to a strip club with pacman jones and killed two people using a gun he recieved from maurice clarrett and still not be in as much trouble as he is in now.