NFL worried Vick not alone
League unsure if other players involved in dogfighting
Posted: Tuesday July 24, 2007 1:14PM; Updated: Tuesday July 24, 2007 8:31PM
In the wake of the NFL putting Michael Vick on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the NFL has to seriously investigate how many players might be involved in dogfighting. And they have no idea what they might find.
"I would bet you," Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber told me, "that every player in the NFL knows someone who has been to a dogfight."
Dogfighting is such a shadowy business. It's not like there's a schedule printed in the small type of USA Today. There has been a lot of skepticism about the Falcons' assertion that the club knew nothing about Vick's alleged involvement in the cruel bloodsport. If a team truly didn't know its marquee player was heavily involved (if he actually was) in such a heinous activity, then what about the fringe players?
It's certain that the NFL has its antennae up now about dogfighting. Each team's security officials will be asked to try to discover whether any current players are into it. Already, the NFL has told its internal security people -- who make a trip to NFL training camp every summer -- to include warnings against participating in dogfighting in their normal anti-drug, anti-gambling and anti-domestic violence program. The NFL will do anything it can to make sure there are no further scandals lurking around the corner.
LIKE MANY PEOPLE, PHIL WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT VICK'S FUTURE. From Phil Wickenburg of Ariz.:"What do you personally think the odds are of Vick ever playing for the Falcons again? Even money? Less than that?"
Three to one against Vick ever playing in Atlanta again. Think about the immediate future. In all likelihood, Vick will not be with the Falcons during training camp, so he won't be able to adjust to coach Bobby Petrino's new offense. By the time he's free to rejoin the team -- if that time even comes this year -- I expect owner Arthur Blank to suspend the quarterback for the first four games of the regular season without pay. So imagine if Vick is kept away from the team for the next 10 weeks. More and more, I'm thinking the most likely scenario, at some point this summer, is that Blank will simply cut Vick and put this sordid episode behind him.
A CHANGE OF PACE FROM VICK. From David Chapman of Fullerton, Calif.: "Is Chargers GM A.J. Smith really going to let running back Michael Turner go at the end of the season for nothing? I watched a replay of a Chargers game and NFL people have to know how good he is -- he would start on most teams.