SEATTLE -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is beginning to focus on evaluating Michael Vick's future in the league. However, that doesn't mean a decision about the suspended quarterback will come any time before the 2009 regular season begins in September.
Goodell said Thursday that his decision on whether to reinstate the former Atlanta Falcons star, who was convicted on federal dogfighting charges in 2007, will come "in due time."
The Associated Press asked the commissioner during a telephone interview if he is seeing signs of remorse and contrition in Vick. Goodell has outlined those as prerequisites to possibly granting Vick's wish to resume his NFL career.
"No, we're beginning to focus on evaluating the situation," Goodell said. "I haven't spoken to him."
The commissioner said he won't sit down with Vick until after the quarterback is released from home confinement and federal custody on July 20.
"I haven't given a timeline, other than after he's concluded his legal (case)," Goodell said.
When asked if the 2009 season starting would become a factor in his decision, Goodell reiterated the ruling will come "in due time."
Vick, who used to be the highest-paid player in the NFL, currently is making $10 per hour as a construction worker while his sentence winds down with home confinement in Hampton, Va. He was released from federal prison in Kansas on May 20.
The Falcons cut Vick earlier this month, less than five years after they signed him to a 10-year, $130 million contract. Vick is free to sign with any NFL team, but none has stated that it intends to offer him a chance to restart his career. That includes the Seahawks, who are coached by Jim Mora, Vick's mentor with the Falcons.
Mora said two weeks ago that he believes Vick deserves a second chance in the league because "he's paid his debt to society." But Mora added, "I'll just say this for the record: We are very happy with the quarterbacks we have on our roster. We have no intentions of adding another player to our roster at this time."
Mora then caught himself, knowing "at this time" would invite rumors that the Seahawks' stance might change on Vick once he's a free man later this summer. Mora made it clear that it won't.
"Just cut out the 'at this time,' because then people will speculate for the next three months," the coach said, chuckling. "We have no intentions of adding a quarterback to our roster."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press