RICHMOND, Virginia — Suspended NFL star Michael Vick left a Kansas prison before dawn Wednesday to begin home confinement in Virginia, one of his attorneys said, the latest step on a journey that Vick hopes will lead to his reinstatement.
Vick, who turns 29 in June, slipped past waiting cameras and reporters to leave a federal penitentiary in Leavenworth after serving 19 months for financing a dogfighting ring. He was headed to Virginia by car to begin two months of home confinement at his five-bedroom house in Hampton before a scheduled released from federal custody on July 20.
"It's a happy day for him to be starting this part of the process," Larry Woodward, Vick's Virginia-based attorney, said. "He looks forward to meeting the challenges he has to meet."
Ultimately, Vick's goal is to rehabilitate his image and return to the NFL, but Woodward said his first priority "is spending time with his children and his loved ones."
Vick, once the NFL's highest-paid player, will be allowed to leave the house to work a $10-an-hour job as a laborer for a construction company and for other limited purposes approved by his probation officer. He will be handed a new set of rules when he begins serving three years of probation after he is released from federal custody.
The transfer from the federal penitentiary will allow Vick to begin rebuilding his life, repairing his image and working toward his goal of reinstatement to the NFL.
Goodell has said he will review Vick's status after his criminal case is concluded. He has said Vick will have to persuade him and the public that he is genuinely sorry for his crime, that he has been changed by his experience and that he is committed to leading a different life.
Vick has said he wants to work with the Humane Society of the United States on a program aimed at eradicating dogfighting among urban teens, society president Wayne Pacelle said Tuesday.