Michael Vick released a statement through the Eagles today clarifying his quote in the GQ interview released today about how he initially he had preferred to sign with a team that was offering him a chance to start rather than with the Eagles, but the NFL convinced him to sign in Philly.
"I felt it was necessary to put out a statement today clarifying the article in GQ Magazine. I did speak with many people, but the decision to sign in Philadelphia was based on my discussions with my agent, my family and with Coach Reid. And after those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career. The Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. Again, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a decision I made and, as I have said numerous times before, I'm very happy with the way it has worked out for me and my family."
The NFL also issued a statement on the matter.
“[Vick’s] decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own. Commissioner Goodell obviously met & spoke to Michael and his reps as part of his decision on whether to reinstate him and on what terms. But the commissioner would never steer players to or away from particular teams and did not do so in this case.”
For reference, see what the GQ article said after the jump.
Here's what Vick said to GQ.
"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."
The writer, Wil Leitch, added this line.
Those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced—and granted league approval—to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."
It's really just a passing quote in a very long story and certainly not the focus or the point of the piece at all. And to be fair, he never said he was told or forced to sign anywhere. The piece says he was "convinced."
So I'm just speculating here, but it doesn't seem all that hard to guess what probably happened. I don't think Goodell and co ever told him "sign in or Philly or you won't be re-instated," but I'm sure he was encouraged to choose a stable organization from amongst those that showed interest in him.
So anyway, you decide what you want to believe... but from an Eagles perspective, my response is, "Who cares?"