New York — Michael Vick is back in the NFL. Now all he needs is a team to play for.
Vick, free after serving 18 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring, was reinstated with conditions by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday. He could participate in regular-season games as early as October.
Vick can take part immediately in preseason practices, workouts and meetings and can play in the final two preseason games — if he can find a team that will sign him. A number of teams already have said they would not.
Once the season begins, Vick may participate in all team activities except games, and Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by Week 6 (Oct. 18-19) at the latest.
Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely in August 2007 after the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation on his property in Virginia. At the time, Goodell said Vick must show remorse before he would consider reinstating him.
“I accept that you are sincere when you say that you want to, and will, turn your life around, and that you intend to be a positive role model for others,” Goodell said in his letter to Vick. “I am prepared to offer you that opportunity. Whether you succeed is entirely in your hands.”
“Needless to say, your margin for error is extremely limited,” the letter said. “I urge you to take full advantage of the resources available to support you and to dedicate yourself to rebuilding your life and your career. If you do this, the NFL will support you.”
Goodell said he spoke to numerous current and former players and coaches as he weighed his decision and that the responses were “very mixed.”
“I do recognize that some will never forgive him for what he did,” Goodell said. “I hope that the public will have a chance to understand his position as I have.”
Vick said he was grateful.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to commissioner Goodell for allowing me to be readmitted to the National Football League,” Vick said in a statement released by his agent. “I fully understand that playing football in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have been given.
Vikings waive Gordon
The Minnesota Vikings released former Kansas University football standout Charles Gordon on Monday, putting an end to a trying nine months following a gruesome ankle injury.
Gordon was placed on injured reserve last year after suffering a serious ankle injury against the Green Bay Packers while returning a punt.
It’s unclear if Gordon was given an injury settlement, but he failed a physical, according to the team's Web site. He had not participated in offseason practices earlier this spring and summer while he continued his recovery.
If healthy, Gordon was expected to compete for the nickel-back role in the Vikings’ secondary. Last season, Gordon played in nine games, starting two in the nickel defense, before the ankle injury ended his season on Nov. 9.
DA wants Burress in jail
New York — Manhattan’s district attorney says he wants former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress to serve time in prison, the New York Post reported.
Robert Morgenthau told the newspaper that Burress, who shot himself with an unlicensed gun in November, was willing to agree to spend a year in jail, but prosecutors insisted on two.
Marshall reports to camp
Englewood, Colo. — Recalcitrant receiver Brandon Marshall was an unhappy camper Monday when he reported for the first day of the Denver Broncos’ training camp.
Marshall, who missed all offseason workouts while rehabbing from hip surgery and protesting his contract and his medical treatment from the team, participated in the short afternoon workout. But he made it clear afterward that he remains displeased with his situation.
Former Sooner DE dies
Coweta, Okla. — Rick Bryan, an All-America defensive end at Oklahoma who played his entire NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, has died. He was 47.
Bryan died Saturday night at his home in Coweta, the Wright Funeral Home in Coweta said Monday. Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer says Bryan suffered congestive heart failure.
Rose Bowl access tweaked
Chicago — Some tweaking to the Bowl Championship Series rules gives greater access to the Rose Bowl to teams outside the six conferences with automatic BCS bids — such as Utah.
“Under certain circumstances, they can play their way into the Rose Bowl, which hasn’t been true in the past,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Monday at Big Ten media day. “That’s additional access. Standards have been, I think, lightened to access the BCS.”
Twins’ RHP out for season
Minneapolis — Minnesota Twins right-handed starter Kevin Slowey says he likely will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to fix a bone chip in his right wrist.
Giants acquire Garko
San Francisco — The San Francisco Giants acquired first baseman Ryan Garko from the Cleveland Indians on Monday, filling a big need in the infield and adding a key right-handed bat.
Marlins pitcher suspended
New York — Florida pitcher Burke Badenhop has been suspended three games, and Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was penalized one game after trouble this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
Mets fire executive
New York — The New York Mets fired team executive Tony Bernazard on Monday following a series of blowups that involved closer Francisco Rodriguez and minor-league players.
Indians’ Abreu suspended
New York — Cleveland pitcher Winston Abreu has been suspended for three games for plunking a Seattle hitter over the weekend.
Indians manager Eric Wedge was penalized one game.
Nash signs extension
Phoenix — Steve Nash thought about leaving the Phoenix Suns after this season. But after mulling other options, he agreed to a two-year, $22 million contract extension that will keep the two-time MVP point guard under contract with the Suns through the 2011-2012 season.
Center swap in works
The Charlotte Bobcats are finalizing a trade that would send Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets for Tyson Chandler, two people familiar with the deal told the Associated Press on Monday.
Teen arrested in shooting
Memphis, Tenn. — Police say a 16-year-old boy has been charged in the shooting of former NBA and University of Memphis player Antonio Burks.
The 29-year-old Burks was shot between his abdomen and upper leg in the backyard of a vacant house during a robbery by three men. He has been upgraded from critical to serious condition at the Regional Medical Center.
Atkins to Minnesota
Oklahoma City — The Minnesota Timberwolves picked up point guard Chucky Atkins from Oklahoma City on Monday in exchange for veteran center Etan Thomas and four second-round draft picks next year. Minnesota also got Oklahoma City guard Damien Wilkins in the deal.
Green wins Canadian Open
Oakville, Ontario — Nathan Green won the Canadian Open on Monday for his first PGA Tour victory, beating Retief Goosen with a par on the second hole of a playoff in the rain-delayed tournament.
After Green missed a 12-foot birdie attempt on the par-4 17th, Goosen’s eight-foot par try slid right, ending the first Monday finish in the national championship since 1988.
Massa speaking, moving
Budapest, Hungary — Formula One driver Felipe Massa was awake and talking to family members Monday, making significant improvement after his high-speed crash two days earlier.
The chief surgeon at AEK hospital said Massa is now breathing unassisted and moving his limbs.
Peirsol fails to qualify
Rome — Aaron Peirsol failed to qualify for 100-meter backstroke final at the world swimming championships on a day five more world records fell.
Peirsol had the ninth-best time in the semifinals.