Michael Vick has been released from Federal Custody, as his dogfighting sentence ended. This has brought, of course, speculation on his potential return to the NFL. John Clayton gives us some FAQs on Vick. Jim Trotter thinks Vick deserves a second chance. George Dohrmann thinks Vick should be banned for life. And if all else fails, the UFL wants him.
I’m not for banning him. What he did was awful. But, he served his time, and paid his debt to society. I believe that sports should provide second chances–but not third and fourth chances. If Vick is to be reinstated, he has to make the most of this chance, because I believe it should be his only chance.
It disgusts me that PacMan Jones has had what seems like 30 chances to make in the NFL. His time is done. Vick has one more time. The NFL should reinstate him (I do believe they will). Since NFL teams sometimes focus too much on talent over character, Vick will get a look. From a lot of teams. Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News gives us six potentially interested teams. Personally, I can see the Patriots giving him a chance as a WildCat specialist. Maybe the Dolphins. Maybe the 49ers. Possibly the Redskins.
But, the NFL will be making a huge mistake if it bans Vick. It will set a unfavorable precedent for the league, that any criminal who played in the NFL will have to be banned. But as I said, his reinstatement should be on the terms that he can’t mess up again. He can’t flip off fans. He can’t surround himself with the people who put him trouble. He has to stay out of trouble.
If he does that, he’ll find a place in the NFL. With the talent he has, he’ll find a place. I would stress this to Roger Goodell: Don’t give him too many chances. He deserves one more. After that, move on.