0

NFL won't reprimand Vick

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Michael Vick he will not face disciplinary action following a shooting at the quarterback's birthday party six weeks ago.

Goodell spoke with Vick on Tuesday while visiting the Eagles during his training camp tour. Shortly after, the NFL released a statement.

"Commissioner Goodell informed Michael Vick there will be no disciplinary action as a result of the incident in Virginia, based on his current understanding of the facts. Commissioner Goodell spoke several weeks ago by phone with Michael, Tony Dungy, and Eagles coach Andy Reid.

"All were in agreement on the need for additional support measures to be added to Michael's plan to enhance his opportunity to succeed in life and football. These additional steps will remain confidential, but they will require Michael to meet even higher standards."

The NFL and the Eagles had been looking into a shooting at a nightclub in Virginia Beach, Va., where Vick held his 30th birthday party on June 25. Police said no charges would be filed because of a lack of cooperation by witnesses and the victim, who Vick's attorney Larry Woodward identified as Quanis Phillips -- a co-defendant in Vick's federal dogfighting case.

Vick and Goodell spoke on the phone after the shooting, but this was their first face-to-face meeting.

"He understands the responsibility he has and the position he's in, and he has to make good decisions," Goodell said. "I want him to understand that he's in a different position than others and because of that he has to protect himself differently, and he recognizes that, I think, and hopefully he's going to make good decisions moving forward."

When the Eagles signed Vick to a two-year contract last August after he finished an 18-month sentence in federal prison, he was told he has no margin for error.

Vick was a model citizen off the field and in the locker room during his first season with the Eagles. He was popular among his teammates, who voted him winner of the Ed Block Courage Award.

"A large part of our message is going to be the additional support we want to provide, helping him make better decisions, including mentoring, guidance and support we think we can provide him both at the league level and at the club level," Goodell said.

LIONS, NO. 2 PICK SUH REACH DEAL: Rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, giving one of the NFL's worst defenses a big boost up front.

Both sides were working on the language of the deal and it was expected to be done by today.

Detroit selected Suh with the second overall pick in April's draft, hoping the former Nebraska star could bolster a defense that has ranked among the league's all-time worst in points allowed the past two seasons. The Lions won two games last year after becoming the first team in league history to go 0-16.

The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Suh was the first defensive player to win The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year award since its inception in 1998. He had 4 1/2 sacks against Texas in the Big 12 title game and finished the season with 12.

PACKERS' JOLLY GETS OFF EASY IN FELONY DRUG CASE: Suspended Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly made a deal with prosecutors Tuesday to avoid trial on a felony drug charge and have the case against him dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next year.

Jolly was given pretrial diversion, a form of probation that will have the charge against him dismissed in a year if he doesn't break the law and completes other requirements, including 160 hours of community service. Part of the community service will be 10 speaking engagements where he will talk to children and others about the dangers of drug use.

The agreement was reached as Jolly's trial was set to begin this week. He had been facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Jolly was charged with possession of a controlled substance -- having at least 200 grams of codeine -- after being arrested July 2008 in the parking lot of a Houston club known for drug and gun use. In Jolly's car, police found cups that had a codeine mixture.

State District Judge Mike Anderson accepted the agreement only after lecturing Jolly at length about his responsibilities as a role model to children who look up to him because he is an NFL player.

"This is hopefully a step in the right direction," Anderson told Jolly. "There is just so much good you can do. You can give them an example that will live longer than the longest career."

"Yes sir," responded Jolly, 27, who declined to talk to reporters after the court hearing.

EX-NFL STAR MCCOWN SIGNS WITH UFL TEAM: Quarterback Josh McCown, a veteran of eight NFL seasons, joined the UFL's Hartford Colonials on Thursday.

McCown has played with the Arizona Cardinals (2002-05), Detroit Lions (2006), Oakland Raiders (2007) and Carolina Panthers (2008-09). He also was in training camp with the Miami Dolphins, who traded him to Carolina on Aug. 29, 2008.

The 31-year-old McCown saw little action the last two years with the Panthers. Last season, he was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 with a left knee injury.

In 49 NFL games, McCown has completed 610 of 1,058 of passes (57.7 percent) for 6,584 yards and 35 touchdowns. He has thrown 33 touchdown passes in 31 starts.