Tony Dungy thinks Michael Vick's choices will be limited

MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer Modified: August 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm •  Published: August 12, 2009
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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Tony Dungy thinks Michael Vick will be back in the NFL this season, maybe even this week.

He's still not saying where the 29-year-old free agent quarterback will land — or how many are interested.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Dungy said Vick will be working from a small list of teams because many do not want to risk a potential backlash from fans.

"It's a complex issue," the former Indianapolis Colts coach said from his home in Tampa, Fla. "You have to get past the possible reaction of fans, and it has to be a team that has an opening and has (salary) cap room. I think Indianapolis would be a great place for him to develop as a person, but he's not a fit with that offense. It's going to be a lot like that."

Dungy has been involved with prison ministries for years and now serves as Vick's personal mentor.

Vick was the No. 1 draft pick in 2001, and once the highest-paid player in football. But he has not played since 2006 when his career came tumbling down. He was convicted in August 2007 of conspiracy and running a dogfighting operation, sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

But after serving his time and being released from home confinement July 20, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally lifted Vick's suspension — allowing him to sign with a team.

So far there have been no takers, but that could be changing.

"We're very optimistic and it's a matter of when, not if," said Joel Segal, Vick's agent. "Michael is very excited about that."

Segal said there was no timetable for a decision. In the meantime, Vick is attempting to revive his image with a series of appearances.

He flew to Chicago for a Wednesday event hosted by the Humane Society of the United States. Vick also spoke to a small crowd Saturday near Atlanta, explaining to attendees that what he did was wrong.

On Tuesday, Vick spoke to basketball campers at Hampton University in Virginia, the city where he now lives, telling the children to use his story as an example of why they need to make better decisions.



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