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Atlanta Falcons cut ties with former quarterback Vick

  • Story Highlights
  • Manager: Team has relinquished contractual rights to suspended pro football player
  • If Vick is reinstated, best NFL opportunity would be "at another club," manager says
  • Vick pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation
  • He will serve last two months of 23-month term in home confinement, publicist says
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The Atlanta Falcons have "relinquished their contractual rights" to Michael Vick, one of the highest-paid players in professional sports before his conviction on dogfighting charges, the Falcons manager said Friday.

Michael Vick will be confined to this Hampton, Virginia, house for the rest of his sentence.

Michael Vick will be confined to this Hampton, Virginia, house for the rest of his sentence.

In a statement posted on the football team's Web site, General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said, "Michael remains suspended by the NFL [National Football League]. However, in the event NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decides to reinstate Michael, we feel his best opportunity to re-engage his football career would be at another club.

"Our entire organization sincerely hopes that Michael will continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard," Dimitroff said.

The quarterback was drafted by the Falcons in 2001, and played six seasons with the team.

Vick, who will turn 29 on June 26, pleaded guilty in August 2007 to a federal charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in Virginia. He was freed from the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 20, and returned to his home in Hampton, Virginia, the following day.

He will serve the last two months of his 23-month sentence in home confinement, his publicist, Judy Smith, said after his release.

Vick could have returned to professional football as soon as September if reinstated by the NFL, said the sports agent who negotiated Vick's 10-year, $140 million contract with the Falcons.

Now, however, he has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A federal bankruptcy judge recently denied a plan presented by Vick and urged him to offer another plan to handle his debts.

The original plan called for Vick to come up with $750,000 to $1 million in cash to be paid to creditors, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Santoro said, but he said he saw no evidence Vick could come up with that much.

Santoro suggested Vick's next plan not call for him to keep two houses and three cars, as did the rejected proposal.

Vick, who acknowledged failing to handle his money well, told the judge he was earning 12 cents an hour as an overnight janitor in prison.

He has offered to work with the Humane Society of the United States on anti-dogfighting campaigns, Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle has told CNN. He was to work on programs aimed at preventing youths from getting involved in dogfighting, and on programs to assist young people who have already been involved in the blood sport.

In testimony before the bankruptcy judge, Vick acknowledged committing a "heinous" act and said he should have acted more maturely.

All About Michael VickAtlanta FalconsAnimal Cruelty

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