What Vick's release means to Falcons and No. 7

The Falcons formally severed ties Friday with suspended quarterback Michael Vick, who is serving out the remainder of his sentence on federal dogfighting charges under home confinement in Virginia.

Here's a look at seven questions surrounding Vick, the Falcons and his prospective return to the NFL.

1. What are the contract ramifications for the Atlanta Falcons?

The Falcons take a $7.11 million salary cap hit. That number for 2009 is $6.43 million. Upon his release, an additional $680,000 — his prorated bonus number from 2010 — is absorbed under the 2009 salary cap.

2. Why Vick was not traded?

Of the 32 teams, at least 10 have unstable quarterback situations. Several were in contact with the Falcons, but timing was an issue. Several teams, including Tampa Bay, Dallas, Detroit, the New York Jets, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington have publicly stated that they are not interested in Vick if he gets reinstated.

"All along we were trying to get something," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "We thought we could get a draft choice. It wasn't something that was so disappointing for us. We were realistic about it."

3. What happens if Vick goes to the startup United Football League?

As a free agent, he could sign with any NFL team or consider offers from other leagues including the UFL and the Canadian Football League.

4. Is Vick precluded from going to play in the Canadian Football League?

No. Under the collective bargaining agreement, only players under contract with NFL teams are precluded from playing in the CFL. He's no longer under an NFL contract.

5. What factors will influence NFL commissioner Roger Goodell when determining when, and if, to reinstate Vick?

Vick will have to explain why he lied to Goodell about the dogfighting operation and show remorse.

6. Why did the Falcons release him at this time?

"What we thought about was having a clean slate going into the summer," Dimitroff said. "Not talking about this or having it be any sort of an issue at all. For Michael and us, it was about being positive and moving forward."

7. Was there any thought to keeping Vick and use him as a wildcat quarterback behind Matt Ryan?

"We made the decision last year to draft Matt Ryan and he was going to be the quarterback of the future," Dimitroff said. "That's the direction we are going right now. We've spent a lot of time working with this team during OTAs."

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