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Vick met with NFLPA leader Smith on Tuesday, union executive says

RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Vick met with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith on Tuesday, one day after the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback finished serving a 23-month federal sentence for a dogfighting conviction.

George Atallah, the NFLPA's assistant executive director for external affairs, said Vick and Smith met one-on-one. Atallah didn't give additional details.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has indefinitely suspended Vick and said Tuesday that he'll decide whether to reinstate the quarterback "in the near future." Goodell didn't elaborate, but he repeatedly said in recent months that he would wait for Vick to finish serving his sentence before meeting with him.

Vick was released from home confinement Monday, but he still must serve three years' probation for his federal conviction and a related state conviction.

NFL training camps open for veterans next week.

The union's position has been that it will support Vick on a personal level until Goodell decides how to proceed, but Atallah said Smith likely will raise the issue with the commissioner.

"They talk frequently on a number of issues, and I'm sure this is going to be one of them at some point," Atallah told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Vick's meeting with Goodell is critical to the quarterback's chances of being reinstated. The commissioner has said he wants to see remorse and evidence that Vick has changed. Goodell also has said that Vick must not only convince him but the public that he is reformed.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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