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article on ESPN with Blank talking about former ATL player


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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to see imprisoned quarterback Michael Vick back in the National Football League. But the door isn't open in Atlanta.

At an NFL owners meeting Tuesday, Blank told ESPN.com he would support an effort by Vick to return to the league after the quarterback finishes a federal prison sentence for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Blank said he has had some contact with Vick, who has not played for the Falcons since the 2006 season.

"He's written me and I've answered him," Blank said. "I certainly wish Michael well in the future. I believe in second chances. I believe in third chances. That doesn't mean I believe in forever chances. But I do believe he's capable of redemption and learning from his mistakes."

When asked if Vick would return to the Falcons, Blank began with a generic answer and then switched to a very strong tone.

"I'll say this to you when I answer the question as fully as I can," Blank said. "From my perspective, people use the expression 'we've turned the page,' and we've turned the page, turned the chapter and closed the book. We've moved on and we have a franchise quarterback."

The Falcons used the third overall pick in this year's draft to select Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, who has led the team to a surprising 4-2 start.

"We're committed to Matt Ryan," Blank said. "Even before his early success, we were committed to Matt Ryan. We made that decision when we drafted him. When you select someone in the draft at that level and pay him what we're paying him, you expect him to be successful and you expect him to be a team leader."

But Blank said he would support Vick's return elsewhere in the NFL.

"Michael could be great for young people in the community to see a fellow who obviously made a series of very bad mistakes -- not just by who you spend time with, but to learn from those personally if he can get on with his life and be successful," Blank said. "I'd like to see it happen for him and for America and the National Football League. Whether or not that happens, we'll have to wait and see, but I certainly would support that."

Vick's sentence is scheduled to run into the summer of 2009. ESPN.com's John Clayton previously reported Vick has been working out in prison, has been bench-pressing over 300 pounds and is throwing the football well.

When Vick is released from prison, the league could take separate disciplinary action and suspend him. But if Vick completes his sentence, Blank said he would speak to commissioner Roger Goodell and ask him to allow the quarterback to be reinstated into the league.

"I certainly would," Blank said. "If I thought that Michael had redeemed himself and if Roger asked me what I felt, based on my knowledge and my own sensitivity about Michael, I certainly would be supportive of him, because I think he would have paid his debt to society. He made a mistake, he made a series of mistakes, but he's been through the legal process and is paying his debt. Once that's done, he's entitled to move on with his life again.

"If he's successful, I think he could be an important role model in a positive way for young folks who face difficult decisions to make the right decisions," he said.

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"I'll say this to you when I answer the question as fully as I can," Blank said. "From my perspective, people use the expression 'we've turned the page,' and we've turned the page, turned the chapter and closed the book. We've moved on and we have a franchise quarterback."

There you have it Vick supporters. It's done. Game, set match. Vick will NEVER play in a Falcon jersey again. Time to move on or move out. Ryan is the the man and he will not let us down, like Vick did.

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yeah, that was pretty cold!

Well, if we still didnt have those who think Vick was going to put Ryan on the bench, he wouldnt have to be so to the point. Even after this statement, we will still have some ignorant folks that think Vick will be our starting QB next year.

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Well, if we still didnt have those who think Vick was going to put Ryan on the bench, he wouldnt have to be so to the point. Even after this statement, we will still have some ignorant folks that think Vick will be our starting QB next year.

He said Vick asked, not his supporters. Let off the pills kid.

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Well, I'll say this - this is a volatile subject with our fans - many are still hurt and angry - others are still clinging to hope.

Personally, I think he is like any other human being - he pays the price and hopefully learned from his consequences and then deserves a chance to start over - like any other human being on this earth. What he does with that chance is up to him. I hope he chooses well.

That being said - if he comes back into the NFL - the Falcons will have the trade rights - I would be willing to bet money that they will do something very similar to what Green Bay did - he won't go to anyone in our division or that we will have to play for a long while. They wouldn't want the media hoopla of a game with him leading an opposing team.

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"He's written me and I've answered him,"

Dear Author

Im sowwy for all the painz i didz to you ...You were my top dog no pun i never meant to hurtz you I reealeyes now

what i didz was wrong and im paying my debts to society and every other scumbag that is stealingz my monies..i should have been studying the playbookz instead of studying dog breeding formz..I miss the A T L and the fans. I know you moved on and drafted Ryanz

but if you would allow me to come backz i will play my naturallllll pozition tailback. i wont ask to throw just run ...but thats a couple of years from now and Im laying off that fried chicken like you asked from me ..im eating salads and in best shape of my lifez..i hope you know i love u and look up to like a dad...

Dear Michael

**** you you lying scumbag ..we are 4-2 and we got the next Great QB .and the dome is going to be jam packed when we are on our way to the Super Bowl..Hope you are rotting in jail and getting man handled by a Grady Jackson looking mofo ...Hope all is well

1 luv

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Well of course he can say this now because Matt Ryan has shown that he can lead the team. If Matt Ryan would have stumbled I doubt Arthur Blank would have made this statement because Michael Vick's services still could have been needed. Now that you have a QB for the future he's moving on. Its all about business, Arthur Blank wants to win and he is going to do what it takes to win. So with that said I think Michael could do well in Oakland or with the Vikings. Those teams are going to need a QB and I think Mike will come out of prison extremely in shape and a freakish athlete. His other option that is floating around is the UFL. I heard Mark Cuban mentioning him several times and they would love to have his talent in the league and would pay him big dollars to play.

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That's odd, I thought surely by now I would hear someone argue that he is still on the roster. :rolleyes:

well, he is still on tha roster.

but everybody knew a Vick return to Atlanta would never happen. I love Vick. always have and always will, and i'm certain that he can come back in be a force in this league. teams will definitely trade for him and when it's all said and done everyone should be happy. this is a guy that is paying for his crime and deserves a chance to redeem himself in this league, and he will. just not in atlanta.

Matt Ryan is Quarterback/leader/future of this Atlanta Falcons franchise now.

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Well of course he can say this now because Matt Ryan has shown that he can lead the team. If Matt Ryan would have stumbled I doubt Arthur Blank would have made this statement because Michael Vick's services still could have been needed. Now that you have a QB for the future he's moving on. Its all about business, Arthur Blank wants to win and he is going to do what it takes to win. So with that said I think Michael could do well in Oakland or with the Vikings. Those teams are going to need a QB and I think Mike will come out of prison extremely in shape and a freakish athlete. His other option that is floating around is the UFL. I heard Mark Cuban mentioning him several times and they would love to have his talent in the league and would pay him big dollars to play.

get real.....Michael Vick was never coming back to this team - from the second Roger Goodell said - "with the 3rd pick in the 2008 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons select...........Quarterback, Matt Ryan - Boston College.........at that very moment marked the end of the Michael Vick era. If you don't believe that, you are kidding yourself nicksaban.

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get real.....Michael Vick was never coming back to this team - from the second Roger Goodell said - "with the 3rd pick in the 2008 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons select...........Quarterback, Matt Ryan - Boston College.........at that very moment marked the end of the Michael Vick era. If you don't believe that, you are kidding yourself nicksaban.

Football is a business first and foremost. If Matt Ryan turned into Ryan Leaf I guarantee you Arthur would have thought about bringing Michael Vick back at the end of the season. If the falcons lost every game this year then he would have definitely thought about it. It doesn't matter that he picked some one. The fact is Arthur Blank is running a business and wants to win games. He wants to put people in the seats and make money. He is going to do whats needed to do that. If you can't believe in that concept then your kidding yourself.

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Well, I'll say this - this is a volatile subject with our fans - many are still hurt and angry - others are still clinging to hope.

Personally, I think he is like any other human being - he pays the price and hopefully learned from his consequences and then deserves a chance to start over - like any other human being on this earth. What he does with that chance is up to him. I hope he chooses well.

That being said - if he comes back into the NFL - the Falcons will have the trade rights - I would be willing to bet money that they will do something very similar to what Green Bay did - he won't go to anyone in our division or that we will have to play for a long while. They wouldn't want the media hoopla of a game with him leading an opposing team.

The only problem with trading Vick is.......

(2009); $10.5 million (2010); $13.5 million (2011); $13 million (2012); $15 million (2013); and $17 million (2014).

..........finding someone who is willing to pay his salary.

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Well I am sure "most" of us were convinced MV would never play here again when we drafted Ryan. But it is good that Blank just went ahead and let the world know so we can just close the book on the subject and move forward.

I was, and am stil,l a huge Vick supporter, but I never wanted him back here after last year. I have been a die hard supporter of this team for 28 years, but Vick would have been a lightning rod for controversy if he ever came back to Atlanta. He is paying a terrible price for his decisions now, and I can only hope he gets another shot in the NFL. I just hope the State of Virginia does not charge him after his release from the Feds, and I hope Goodell does not suspend him for a year after his release. I know what he did really enrages some people, but I think he has suffered enough myself.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to see imprisoned quarterback Michael Vick back in the National Football League. But the door isn't open in Atlanta.

At an NFL owners meeting Tuesday, Blank told ESPN.com he would support an effort by Vick to return to the league after the quarterback finishes a federal prison sentence for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. Blank said he has had some contact with Vick, who has not played for the Falcons since the 2006 season.

"He's written me and I've answered him," Blank said. "I certainly wish Michael well in the future. I believe in second chances. I believe in third chances. That doesn't mean I believe in forever chances. But I do believe he's capable of redemption and learning from his mistakes."

When asked if Vick would return to the Falcons, Blank began with a generic answer and then switched to a very strong tone.

"I'll say this to you when I answer the question as fully as I can," Blank said. "From my perspective, people use the expression 'we've turned the page,' and we've turned the page, turned the chapter and closed the book. We've moved on and we have a franchise quarterback."

The Falcons used the third overall pick in this year's draft to select Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, who has led the team to a surprising 4-2 start.

"We're committed to Matt Ryan," Blank said. "Even before his early success, we were committed to Matt Ryan. We made that decision when we drafted him. When you select someone in the draft at that level and pay him what we're paying him, you expect him to be successful and you expect him to be a team leader."

But Blank said he would support Vick's return elsewhere in the NFL.

"Michael could be great for young people in the community to see a fellow who obviously made a series of very bad mistakes -- not just by who you spend time with, but to learn from those personally if he can get on with his life and be successful," Blank said. "I'd like to see it happen for him and for America and the National Football League. Whether or not that happens, we'll have to wait and see, but I certainly would support that."

Vick's sentence is scheduled to run into the summer of 2009. ESPN.com's John Clayton previously reported Vick has been working out in prison, has been bench-pressing over 300 pounds and is throwing the football well.

When Vick is released from prison, the league could take separate disciplinary action and suspend him. But if Vick completes his sentence, Blank said he would speak to commissioner Roger Goodell and ask him to allow the quarterback to be reinstated into the league.

"I certainly would," Blank said. "If I thought that Michael had redeemed himself and if Roger asked me what I felt, based on my knowledge and my own sensitivity about Michael, I certainly would be supportive of him, because I think he would have paid his debt to society. He made a mistake, he made a series of mistakes, but he's been through the legal process and is paying his debt. Once that's done, he's entitled to move on with his life again.

"If he's successful, I think he could be an important role model in a positive way for young folks who face difficult decisions to make the right decisions," he said.

Alot easier to say at 4-2....im glad we have the success that we do with Ryan....But its amazing how vague Blank was until Matt started shining....Every Vick fan said the same thing, that if Matt did well Vick would be gone for good.....Vick will be back in the league as a QB and I hope he goes to a super bowl contender that needs a good QB....I hope he gets a ring and lands on a good team with a good OL and WR so he can finally show the skills that he really has

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