Birds face decision on Vick's future

Posted: July 01, 2010

As details continue to emerge about the timeline of Michael Vick's departure from the scene of a shooting last week, the Eagles face a deadline for a decision on their backup quarterback.

A discrepancy has emerged between what Vick's lawyer told reporters about when the Eagles' quarterback left a party last Friday, and when a codefendant in Vick's dog fighting case was shot.

The question for the Eagles is: What happens if Vick does not return to the team because of this incident? The Eagles did speak with 40-year-old Jeff Garcia's agent in April, but nothing came of those conversations. Rookie Mike Kakfa is currently the third quarterback, behind Vick and starter Kevin Kolb.

A team spokesman Wednesday said the club was sticking by its statement of last Friday, that it was "in the process of gathering all the facts," about an incident that left a man shot in the leg outside a Virginia Beach nightclub that hosted Vick's 30th birthday party.

At that time, a team source said, the Eagles were led to believe that Vick had left the party before the shooting.

Vick's lawyer, Larry Woodward, told the Hampton Roads Daily Press that his client "was long gone before the shooting," and estimated to the Associated Press that Vick had left Quadalajara's Restaurant at least 10 minutes before the incident.

One of the nightclub's owners, however, has shown news outlets the club's surveillance video that apparently shows Vick and his entourage leaving just three minutes before shots were heard.

A car believed to be carrying Vick left at 2:07 a.m. A crowd is seen lingering in front of the club after the car vacates the premises, until some patrons appear to duck for cover at 2:10.

Virginia Beach police said they received the first 911 call at 2:11.

The authorities now have the video, according to police spokesman Adam Bernstein. He would not elaborate on whether police were looking into the supposed discrepancy in the timeline. He did confirm that Vick voluntarily met with police Monday morning to discuss the shooting.

"We're not discussing what [Vick] has said to us and what he hasn't said to us," Bernstein said Wednesday night. "The discrepancy is [in] what the lawyer told reporters and from the bar owner showing the video to a local reporter. It's not coming from the police."

The police have not identified the victim. Woodward, however, told the AP that Quanis Phillips, who served 21 months in prison for his connection in the Vick dog fighting ring, was the victim.

The Game 102.1-FM in Virginia Beach reported Wednesday that Vick's younger brother, Marcus, was involved in some way in the shooting. ESPN's Adam Schefter also reported Wednesday that the shooter was expected to turn himself in sometime soon.

"That's news to us," Bernstein said. "We have no main suspect and have no arrest."

The NFL, like the Eagles, is still in the fact-finding stage. If the league were to enforce a zero tolerance policy - Commissioner Roger Goodell said last summer that Vick's margin for error was "extremely limited" upon his reinstatement - any decision would be taken out of the Eagles' hands.

Many expected Vick to be traded in the off-season, but the team picked up Vick's $1.5 roster bonus in March and are expected to pay the remaining $3.75 million of his salary this season.


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com.

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