Michael Vick, who went from the wealthiest star in the NFL to bankrupt convict, has paid some serious dues and could be reinstated into the league, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday.
"Michael did an egregious thing. He has paid a very significant price for that. If he's learned from that and is prepared to live a different life, I think the general public is forgiving on that when people are genuine and they show remorse and are prepared to live a different life," he said. "That's something he has to prove to myself and the general public."
Following his comments during a panel discussion about leadership in sports at Washington & Lee University, Goodell said he has not paid attention to Vick's legal issues since suspending him from the league after his conviction in a federal dogfighting case.
The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback is in the home stretch of a 23-month prison term for his conviction in a high-profile dogfighting case.
"At that point in time, I will want to meet with Michael, I will want to meet with his people, I will want to meet with other professionals to understand: does he understand the mistakes he made and is he genuine and have remorse for those actions and is he prepared to handle himself differently going forward. That will ultimately be my decision," he said. "Our issue is trying to do the right thing and represent the NFL in the best possible way."
At the time he was sent to prison, Vick, 28, was under a seven-year contract for $130 million. He is scheduled to be released from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., on July 20, but could be transferred to home confinement in Hampton as early as May 21.