FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not determined the potential reinstatement process for Michael Vick, even as the former Atlanta Falcons star was about to leave federal prison for the final phase of his 23-month sentence related to dogfighting.
Only this much is certain: Vick will need not only to say he's sorry, but convince Goodell he means those words if there's any chance his indefinite suspension will be lifted.
"I think that's going to be up to Michael," Goodell said Tuesday during a break at the NFL meetings. "Michael's going to have to demonstrate to myself and the general public and to a lot of people, did he learn anything from this experience? Does he regret what happened? Does he feel that he can be a positive influence going forward? Those are questions that I would like to see when I sit with him."
When will that happen? Goodell reiterated that it'll take place only once Vick's legal process is completed; his time in federal custody ends July 20, or roughly around the same time NFL training camps open.
"I don't anticipate anything other than sitting down with him at some point and having to make a decision," Goodell said.
Once Vick leaves the federal lockup in Leavenworth, Kan. - his release was expected sometime Wednesday, perhaps in the early morning hours - he will be confined much of the time to his Virginia home and wear an electronic monitoring device. He will be allowed to leave home for work at a $10-an-hour construction job, plus other court-approved events.
And although Goodell said he hasn't "spent any time on this," the commissioner did acknowledge reaching out in recent weeks to former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy, who met with Vick in prison not long ago. Goodell said he and Dungy have exchanged phone messages, but not spoken.
"I haven't sat down and determined the process," Goodell said. "But I've never been one to shy away from input and from facts that can be helpful in making an ultimate judgment. It's always difficult to make judgments about people and where they are. If others can provide some helpful information, then I welcome it."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.