Thursday, August 18, 2011

NFL denies steering Vick to Eagles

An unfiltered Michael Vick isn't going over all that well.

It remains to be seen if Vick's upcoming GQ Magazine article results in a firestorm but the brush fires have already begun.

In the article Vick claimed that when he was getting out of prison and preparing to resume his career, he wanted to go to a team where he could start immediately like Buffalo or Cincinnati.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth. . . . I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options," Vick said.

But, according to Vick, it was NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Tony Dungy that persuaded Vick to sign with the Eagles, regarded as a far more stable team where he could be under the radar while rehabilitating his reputation.

"I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation," Vick continued.

Needless to say if the commissioner was truly steering a player toward one particular team at the expense of another, that's a scandal, something the league denied through spokesman Greg Aiello.

"Michael Vick's decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own," Aiello said in a statement. "Commissioner Goodell obviously met and spoke to Michael and his representatives as part of his decision on whether to reinstate Michael and on what terms. But the commissioner would never steer players to or away from particular teams and did not do so in this case."

Vick himself was also forced to backpedal in a statement released by the Eagles.

“I felt it was necessary to put out a statement today clarifying the article in GQ Magazine. I did speak with many people, but the decision to sign in Philadelphia was based on my discussions with my agent, my family and with Coach Reid," the quarterback said. "And after those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career. The Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. Again, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a decision I made and, as I have said numerous times before, I’m very happy with the way it has worked out for me and my family.”

Clearly Vick  made a number of faux pas in the GQ interview and the spin machine is now in full effect from both the league and Birds, but it's clear at the very least Vick believed Goodell wanted him on the Eagles.

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