The Falcons' expected release of Michael Vick puts him one small step closer to a return to the NFL.
It doesn't necessarily mean, though, that he'll be suiting up this fall.
While Vick is now free to negotiate a contract with all 32 teams in the NFL, he still must be reinstated by league commissioner Roger Goodell in order to play. Further, Vick must find a team willing to accept the risk of signing him and his accompanying baggage.
Goodell indefinitely suspended Vick at the time of his federal dogfighting conviction. Goodell has said that he won't meet with him to consider reinstatement until after his sentence ends July 20.
Teams are free to sign suspended players, but any team that signs him would have to wait on Goodell to reinstate Vick for him to play. Goodell has said in the past that he wants Vick to show remorse for the actions that led to the conviction.
Friday, league spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that Goodell's plan is to still wait until after the sentence is over before meeting with Vick.
Any team considering bringing Vick aboard would obviously have to consider several factors, such as Vick's prolonged absence from the game and the controversy that signing a player with Vick's history would incur.
Earlier this week, Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora, who coached Vick with the Falcons, said "we have no intentions of adding a quarterback to our roster."
The Washington Examiner newspaper reported earlier this week that the Redskins considered pursuing Vick, but decided that the potential backlash from protesters was among the reasons why he would not be worth the risk. Also this week, San Francisco 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan told a radio station that the team will not attempt to sign him.
"We're not going to go that route," McCloughan said on Sirius-XM NFL Radio.
Last month, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who had been speculated to be a potential suitor for Vick, told the Dallas Morning News that the team was not interested in him.
Another possibility is the United Football League, a new four-team league that is scheduled to begin play in the fall.
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