Irvin: Vick deserves another shot at NFL

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Now that Michael Vick has finished a 23-month federal sentence for dogfighting, he shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to return to the NFL, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin said Monday.

Now that Michael Vick has finished a 23-month federal sentence for dogfighting, he shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to return to the NFL, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin said Monday.

“The law has spoken and spoken severely,” Irvin told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “If the commissioner says he’s not allowed back in, then how is that fair?”

To emphasize his point, Irvin compared the NFL’s indefinite suspensions of Vick and Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth. While Vick was punished for nearly two years, Stallworth served 24 days of a 30-day jail sentence for pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter.

“The law spoke with Donte’, but he’s already been in and out of jail,” Irvin said. “There still has to be a penalty with Donte’ when it comes to the NFL…Michael Vick has already served his penalty.”

Irvin understands Stallworth’s plight because something similar happened to him. In 1996, Irvin pleaded no contest to drug charges and avoided any jail time but was still suspended for five games.

Vick must convince NFL commissioner Roger Goodell of his readiness to return. Irvin said there should be a series of well-publicized meetings and, if all goes well, the suspension should be lifted a few weeks before the regular season opens.

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In photo: Former Atlanta Falcon quarterback, Michael Vick, left, leaves federal court after a visit to the parole office in Norfolk, Va., Monday, July 20, 2009. Vick ended his federal dogfighting sentence Monday, freeing him to lobby for a return to the field. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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