Following his release from prison, Michael Vick had options as he mulled a return to the NFL, and when deciding where to play, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback consulted a multiple advisers in an effort to find the best landing spot. One of those advisers, we learned in Vick's excellent interview with GQ, was Roger Goodell, with Vick seeming to imply the NFL commissioner steered him towards the Philadelphia Eagles. The revelation drew outrage, with many wondering why Goodell was allowed to steer Vick to the Eagles while advising him to spurn the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills.
Vick attempted to clear the air on Thursday, releasing a statement to clarify his remarks in GQ.
Michael Vick: "Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. I want to make it clear this was a decision I made."
The NFL also released a statement, denying any tampering or attempts to steer Vick towards the Eagles.
"Michael Vick’s decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT via e-mail. "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."
It's clear that Vick went through a lengthy process before deciding on a destination after he was released from prison. If he and the NFL are to be believed, his meeting with Goodell was a step in the process as Vick gathered advice and weighed his options. However, seeking out the advice Goodell, and using that advice to eventually decide where to play, does raise plenty of issues and, rightfully, has many feeling uneasy about the situation.