Suspended Michael Vick ended his federal dog-fighting sentence late on Monday, freeing him to lobby for a return to the field. Vick's attorney Lawrence Woodward said the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback was released from federal custody as scheduled. That means Vick no longer has to wear the electronic monitor he has had while under home confinement for the last two months of his 23-month sentence.
Shortly before Woodward came out of the house, two men in a government car with a US Probation Services folder on the dashboard paid a brief visit to the home. They carried a large case similar to the one that Vick's ankle monitor was delivered in when he started home confinement. The men declined to identify themselves. Vick, 29, then drove to the federal court house in nearby Norfolk to meet federal probation officials to take care of paperwork. He declined to take questions as he left the court house with Woodward.
Freedom will allow Vick to step up his efforts to resume his career in NFL. Vick hopes to soon meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has said he would review Vick's status after Vick completed his sentence. Goodell has said he wants to sit down with Vick, but it is unclear when that face-to-face meeting will take place. "The review of his status is ongoing, but we are providing no other details at this time," league spokesman Greg Aiello said on Monday.
If Vick is able to return to the NFL, it will not be with Atlanta, as the Falcons released him in June. "Michael did an egregious thing," Goodell said. "He has paid a very significant price for that." He added people are forgiving when someone who has done wrong shows remorse and is prepared to live a different life. "That's something he has to prove to myself and the general public," Goodell said.
Vick did not initially show enough remorse to satisfy US District Judge Henry Hudson. He apologised in court in 2007, but Hudson denied him an "acceptance of responsibility" credit that could have reduced his sentence. * AP