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League: Vick wasn't steered to Eagles

PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick backtracked and league officials reacted Thursday over comments in a GQ story in which Vick said the Eagles were not his first choice when he made his comeback bid.

The article, posted on the magazine's website in advance of its release next week, said Vick chose the Eagles after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other league representatives. He first leaned toward either the Bills or Bengals, teams with which he would not have been so far down the depth chart when he signed.

"I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation," Vick said of the league officials.

But Thursday the quarterback, who served federal prison time after a dogfighting conviction, told the media the Eagles were his choice. And NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail statement: "Michael Vick's decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own." Vick was a third-stringer for Philadelphia in 2009 before his breakout season last year.

NCAA punishments to carry over more?

The NFL's decision to have Terrelle Pryor's NCAA punishment carry over to the pros (see 1C) might be the start of a new trend, a report said. The website reported that the league and the NFL Players Association might start disciplining players who are caught violating NCAA rules, then turn pro before serving any punishment. The report said the league could fine and suspend more players if they break rules during their college careers.

CONCUSSION SUIT: Six former players and one current player are suing the league in Philadelphia over concussion-related injuries, the first potential class-action lawsuit of its kind. The players accuse the league of training players to hit with their heads, failing to properly treat concussions and trying to conceal for decades any links between football and brain injuries. The plaintiffs include former Super Bowl champion quarterback Jim McMahon, who says he played through five concussions and now frequently walks "in a daze." Seventy-five retired players sued the league last month in Los Angeles on similar grounds.

BILLS: Linebacker Shawne Merriman, via a post on his Twitter page, denied a story posted by the website Buffalo Sports Daily that he was caught carrying steroids in Canada, near the U.S. border, last month.

JETS: Running back Shonn Greene has a "low-grade skin infection" on his right foot and will miss Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

VIKINGS: Ex-FSU quarterback Christian Ponder will play with the second team Saturday at Seattle. He came in third in last week's game, after Donovan McNabb and Joe Webb. Also, former Florida star Percy Harvin (rib) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) will sit out.

HAYNESWORTH CASE: Albert Haynesworth's lawyer has repeatedly offered money to a waiter so she would help convince the government to drop her sexual abuse case against the Patriots defensive lineman, prosecutors said. Prosecutors wrote in a court document that on "numerous occasions" Haynesworth's lawyer approached the waiter's attorney to offer money. The case is set for trial Tuesday in Washington. Scott Bolden, the attorney for Haynesworth, denies the offer.

STEELERS DEFENSE DOMINATES: Pittsburgh intercepted Michael Vick three times and took a 24-0 lead on its way to a 24-14 win over visiting Philadelphia. "We're all in this together and we all stunk tonight," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

League: Vick wasn't steered to Eagles 08/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 19, 2011 1:18am]
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