Goodell Orders Vick Out of Training Camp

The Associated Press
Monday, July 23, 2007; 10:51 PM

NEW YORK -- Michael Vick was ordered by commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday to stay away from the Atlanta Falcons' training camp until the league reviews the dogfighting charges against him.

"While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football League to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy," Goodell said in a letter to the quarterback.

The NFL said Vick would still get his preseason pay and Goodell told the Falcons to withhold any disciplinary action of their own until the league's review was completed.

Goodell told Vick the league would complete its review quickly and that he expected full cooperation. The review is expected to involve conversations with federal law enforcement officials so the NFL can determine the strength of the case against Vick.

The Falcons open camp on Thursday, the same day Vick is scheduled to be arraigned in Richmond, Va., on charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation.

Team officials declined comment other than to say a news conference was scheduled Tuesday at owner Arthur Blank's office in Atlanta.

Blank, general manager Rich McKay and new coach Bobby Petrino are expected to speak publicly for the first time about their embattled quarterback. Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said Vick, who is in Virginia, will not attend the news conference.

Petrino's wife, Becky Petrino, said her husband had not yet returned home when The Associated Press called on Monday night.

Vick hasn't commented publicly since the team held a mini-camp in May. None of the phone messages left on his cell phone have been returned. Lawyer Lawrence Woodward of Newport News, Va., also did not respond to interview requests Monday.

Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, last season became the first quarterback ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards. He led the Falcons to an NFC wild-card win 2002, his first season as a starter, and in 2004, Vick's play helped the Falcons reach the conference title game.

NFL veteran players will earn $1,100 per week from the beginning of camp until the first week of the regular season.

The contract extension Vick signed in 2004, a 10-year deal worth approximately $130 million, calls for a $6 million salary this season.

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