NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, during a press conference on Monday, described the conduct of Michael Vick as "horrific" and "cruel," but said that he was ready to give Vick another chance in the NFL, because he is convinced that Vick will conduct himself properly going forward.
"He has some big decisions off the field to make in the way he conducts himself," Goodell said of Vick. "I think he is at the point now where he is prepared to make those decisions and hopefully conduct himself in a more positive way."
Goodell said he met with Vick for four and a half hours, spoke with others who know Vick, and studied the facts of the case. Goodell added that he asked former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy to serve as a mentor and adviser to Vick, and that Vick embraced that idea.
"He has been very open and fully cooperative," Goodell said of the strictures he placed on Vick. "Playing in the NFL is a privilege. We are held to a higher standard. It is not a right to be an NFL player. I think Michael understands that."
Goodell acknowledged that he was personally upset that Vick told him two years ago that he wasn't involved in dog fighting, and that he was appalled by Vick's behavior.
"I don't like being lied to, like anybody else, but we have to move forward," Goodell said. "The conduct that Michael engaged in was not only horrific, but it was cruel. We all, certainly, recognize that, and I believe after meeting with Michael that he recognizes that as well."
Ultimately, in the NFL, one person makes the final calls, and that one person, Goodell, said he's made up his mind. Goodell opened the press conference by saying, "I have made my decision regarding Michael Vick."