The majority of NFL news stories currently dominating the national scene are stories of former, suspended, and disgraced athletes.
Retired, unretired, retired Brett Favre has once again ‘officially’ announced he will remain retired. According to his own released statement, his body is not prepared for the competitive level required of an NFL quarterback. Post-retirement shoulder surgery led to another attempted comeback by Favre, this time to the Minnesota Vikings. This week, however, Favre announced he would remain retired (for now) due to his belief that he is unfit to compete at the professional level at this time.
Former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress is in the news again. New York state prosecutors have announced that they will seek ‘definite’ jail time from gun-possession charges leveled against Burress in 2008, when he accidentally shot himself at a nightclub with an allegedly unregistered weapon. Burress has been given the go-ahead to play in the 2009 season, pending the outcome of the weapons charges.
The off-season has been anything but restful for newly-signed Buffalo Bills receiver Terrell Owens. After competing on ABC’s “The Superstars,” Owens is currently starring in his own reality show on VH-1, appropriately titled, “The T.O. Show.” Despite the smaller media venue in Buffalo, Owens seems determined to keep cameras on him in any way possible.
Jim Johnson, defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, passed away this week after a battle with cancer. Johnson served as defensive coordinator for 10 years with the Eagles before taking a medical leave of absence in May due to cancer treatments. Sean McDermott, who had taken on the role in Johnson’s absence, has been named as his permanent replacement.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell officially reinstated disgraced ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick after Vick completed the terms of his 18-month prison sentence and subsequent house arrest and parole after being convicted of charges stemming from an illegal dog-fighting operation in Virginia. Vick’s reinstatement is conditional on many things, including completing psychological testing and cooperating with the Humane Society of the United States in order to educate the public about dog fighting.
What remains to be seen is which team, if any, will be willing to sign Vick, who has been suspended from the NFL since 2007. Retired NFL coach Tony Dungy has agreed to mentor Vick throughout the season and help to keep him on track behaviorally and athletically. Opinions throughout the league and the public remain mixed as to whether Vick deserves a second chance in the NFL.