Owens weighs in on Vick's return

Updated: July 27, 2009, 12:55 PM ET
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills receiver Terrell Owens is disappointed in the way NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is considering Michael Vick's reinstatement now that the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback has served a 23-month prison sentence for his role in an illegal dogfighting ring.

A lot of the guys around the league need to speak up. I think the players' union needs to step in because the guy's already suffered so much, and to add a four-game suspension onto a two-year prison sentence, I mean, that's ridiculous.

-- Terrell Owens

Owens called the possibility of an additional Vick suspension to start the season, possibly for four games, "ridiculous" while meeting with reporters after Sunday morning's training camp session at St. John Fisher College.

"The Michael Vick situation, I think, is unfortunate," Owens said. "I think the way the commissioner is handling it is unfair to Michael Vick. I think he's done the time for what he's done. I don't think it's really fair for him to be suspended four more games. It's almost like kicking a dead horse in the ground.

"A lot of the guys around the league need to speak up. I think the players' union needs to step in because the guy's already suffered so much, and to add a four-game suspension onto a two-year prison sentence, I mean, that's ridiculous."

League sources told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio and Chris Mortensen on Thursday that Goodell is expected to announce details of Vick's conditional reinstatement, allowing the three-time Pro Bowler to sign with an NFL team.

Owens wouldn't speculate whether Vick will be signed by another NFL team, but claimed Vick deserved the opportunity.

"Why shouldn't he?" Owens said. "There's a number of guys around the league that have done far more worse things than that and gotten a second chance. So I don't see why he shouldn't."

Not speaking in terms of the Bills, Owens said he wouldn't mind having Vick as a teammate.

"Again, why not?" Owens said. "Michael Vick is a guy that really hasn't had any character issues besides [what] he got a prison sentence for, so why not."

Bills safety George Wilson, the team's NFLPA representative, agreed with Owens.

"How do you bring a man out of suspension and then suspend him again? I mean, he's paid his debt," Wilson said. "I think you just continue to hold him down by bringing him back and then suspend him."

Wilson said he intends to discuss Vick's status with Owens and other teammates to determine whether to bring the Bills players' position to the union.

"We'll see where it goes, but I think Terrell is right in stating his position," Wilson said. "This is an instance where perhaps our players' association needs to try to get involved."

The union's position has been that it will support Vick on a personal level until Goodell decides how to proceed. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith met with Vick this past week, and intends to discuss the player's status with Goodell.

Tim Graham covers the AFC East for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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