Vick Ordered to Stay Away

The NFL has now spoken out on the Michael Vick situation. This could only be the beginning of a developing issue that could span over several weeks or months.

Vick Ordered to Stay Away From Team; Told Not to Report to Camp

The NFL announced Monday evening that Commissioner Roger Goodell has ordered QB Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons not to report to the team's training camp pending the completion of an NFL review of his recent indictment by a federal grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, for allegedly participating in an interstate dog-fighting enterprise.

Commissioner Goodell informed Vick that the review would be completed as soon as possible and that Vick's full cooperation is expected.  

In a letter to Vick today, Commissioner Goodell said:

"While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football League to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy."

Vick will not forfeit his preseason pay during his excused absence from training camp.

Commissioner Goodell also directed the Falcons today to withhold any contemplated team discipline regarding the Vick matter until the NFL review is completed.

It should be noted that according to the Personal Conduct Policy and Standard of Conduct, which the league revised back in April, a player doesn't have to be convicted of a crime to be suspended.

"Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in a conviction of a crime," the policy states.

With Vick out of camp, veteran QB Joey Harrington will handle the first-team offensive reps. If it turns out that Vick is suspended for more than four games, it's quite possible the team looks at signing another veteran signal caller.

According to the updated Best Available NFL Free Agents report, there are really only three options that are viable for Atlanta.

Veteran QB Drew Bledsoe, after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, has said he's retiring. But according to a league source, Bledsoe has yet to turn in his retirement papers to the league.

Former Oakland Raiders QB Aaron Brooks hasn't had any interest shown by teams this year.

The best option for the club would be former Miami Dolphins QB Daunte Culpepper but most inside the league believe he'll wind up signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Someone to keep an eye on is QB Jake Plummer. He continues to stay away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who acquired him via trade back on March 2, and also hasn't officially retired.

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