Philadelphia Eagles News

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on SIRIUS XM Radio

On "Mad Dog Unleashed" on SIRIUS XM Radio, host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo spoke with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The following is a partial transcript.

Host, Chris Russo: "Give me a little status report if you can on your discussions with Michael Vick the last couple of days."

Roger Goodell:"Well, I've been in touch with Michael on a regular basis since the time I first met with him back in July. Today I did meet with him. I can confirm that for you and I expect to be making a decision shortly on his status but I'm not going to get into any details beyond that."

Russo: "When you say status, by October 18th, but will you tell us that there is a decent chance that he will be reinstated prior to that, Commish?"

Goodell: "There is a chance that I would make a decision and a good chance that I would make a decision before that date, yes, Chris."

Russo: "I know [Eagles owner Jeffrey] Lurie had some issues, he had some reservations about bringing Vick in. I know you were very encouraging to these owners to give him a chance. Did you have conversations with Jeff about the pluses of giving Vick a second opportunity here before he signed with the Eagles?"

Goodell: "Yes, I talked to Jeff and, frankly, I've talked to other owners in advance of the decision as people were making their decision. They were interested in my perspective having met with him for a period of time and I was happy to share that with them so, yes, I talked to Jeff and I talked to other club officials."

Russo: "Now I know, Commish, that Vick, which he shouldn't have done, hotel bar the first day drinking a Grey Goose which you can't do. We know that but have you been generally pleased in the first two and a half weeks with how Vick has handled himself?"

Goodell: "I have. As he knows I'm not judging him based on what he tells me. I'm judging him and judging his progress based on how he does and his actions. And he recognizes that and we discussed that this morning. We also discussed the incident you referred to which obviously got a great deal of attention and he knows that that serves as a reminder that his actions are under a tremendous microscope by everybody and that he has to be careful."

Russo: "Now, Commish, explain that to me. If that's me, if that's you, we're going to lay low. We're not going to go to a hotel bar after we just get signed sipping a cocktail."

Goodell: "Chris, first let me just say I don't think your facts are correct because he's living at a hotel and it was a restaurant and he had dinner and as part of dinner he had a drink. So I think we've got to be careful how we frame this in fairness to a young man here. He didn't even finish one drink. It's not a violation of his probation and it's not a violation of anything I set forth."

Russo: "Ok, that's fair. But you were somewhat concerned by it because you did bring it up to him today, right?"

Goodell: "Of course we talked about it because I wanted him to understand, first I wanted to understand the facts and understand his perspective on it and I wanted to use it as a reinforcement that he is under a tremendous microscope here and people are going to jump to conclusions, people are going to frame it in a way that he may not be able to control and he's got to be very careful of that. But because his family has not yet or had not at the time relocated to Philadelphia he's still living in a hotel."

Russo: "When you say that soon you will make a decision, I don't want to pin you down too much but would you say soon by Week 1? Is this imminent or is this still a week or two away before you make a call on it?"

Goodell: "Well, I just want to be clear on what you're suggesting. I expect to make a decision about his status soon. And very soon, maybe even as early as today, but I'm not suggesting to you what that decision is."

Russo: "[Donte] Stallworth, terrible what he did. Listen, I know he was apologetic and he handled it right and you said some things there about a "stain for our league" and all. But, I mean, a life was lost, he's eligible to come back next year. [Plaxico] Burress, he's going to be eligible to come back in a couple of years after he goes to jail. Vick went to jail yet you still felt you had to put a suspension on top of the jail sentence yet you didn't necessarily feel that way, at least so far, with Stallworth and maybe with Burress. Is there a difference? Explain that for me."

Goodell: "Well, again, I would dispute the way you've represented those issues. First off, Plaxico Burress is going to jail for two years. Donte Stallworth served his jail time. I thought that, in my opinion, that a suspension was warranted based on the facts that happened. There was a tragic loss of life. It's irresponsible behavior that I've been very clear with all the players about in the past and felt that it was warranted.

"In Michael's case, I've emphasized repeatedly here this is not a suspension. What this is is a transition back from a two-year period where he was out of football back into life and to real life. That is a significant transition for someone who has been through what he's been through. And we are looking for a success story. We are looking for him to be successful and be able to handle the responsibility and the judgments and the decisions he's going to have to make. And I think it's gone quite well because we've given him a step approach where he's been able to demonstrate his sincerity, he been able to demonstrate that he can handle the responsibilities coming forward, and demonstrate that he's going to make good judgments.

"That's how I look at it. He is being paid unlike people who are suspended, where they aren't paid. So I don't look at this as discipline. I look at this as helping Michael create a success story and surrounding him with people who can help him make better judgments."

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