Michael Vick made his debut appearance with the Philadelphia Eagles Friday at a press conference at team headquarters, where he was joined by Eagles coach Andy Reid, mentor/former NFL coach Tony Dungy and, later, team owner Jeffrey Lurie.
The 29-year-old quarterback who formerly played for the Atlanta Falcons was released from federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas on May 20, 2009 to complete the remainder of his 23 month sentence for felony dogfighting in home confinement at his Virginia.
His reinstatement with the NFL is conditional. The league said in a statement last month:
[Vick ]“will be considered for full reinstatement and to play in regular-season games by Week 6 based on the progress he makes in his transition plan.
Also issuing a statement, responding to the Michael Vick conditional reinstatement, Ed Sayres, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said:
“[NFL] Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Philadelphia Eagles have granted Michael Vick a second chance, and the ASPCA expects Mr. Vick to express remorse for his actions, as well as display more compassion and sound judgment this time around than he did during his previous tenure with the NFL.
At the press conference, announcing Michael Vick Eagles contract, the former Falcons quarterback himself said of his circumstances: “I think everybody deserves a second chance….”I know I’ve done some terrible things, made a horrible mistake. Now I want to be part of the solution and not the problem.” He went on to say he was going to continue his work with the Humane Society to raise awareness about animal cruelty.
Regarding his return to the NFL the Michael Vick press conference video reveals him saying said, “I’m considering this my first year, my first year back.”