Roger Goodell Could Suspend Eagles QB Michael Vick

Bob Cunningham@BCunningham215Senior Analyst IJune 26, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the sideline in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Even though the situation involving Michael Vick, his birthday party, and a man getting shot aren't nearly as bad as when first reported, Vick could still find himself in some very hot water.

According to reports, Vick was hosting his 30th birthday party at a nightclub in Virginia Beach when there was a confrontation between himself and a co-defendant from his infamous 2007 case for running an illegal gambling ring across state lines stemming from a dog-fighting operation.

The co-defendant, Quanis Phillips, apparently antagonized Vick and "threatened to smash birthday cake in Vick's face, or that he actually smashed the cake in Vick's face," according to Hampton Roads Daily Press Urban Affairs writer David Squires .

"Another version is that someone smashed cake in Quanis' face -- or threatened to smash it in his face."

From there, a fight spilled out onto the street in front of the nightclub, where someone shot Phillips in the leg. It's unclear who shot him, what events exactly unfolded before the fight took place, what the fight was about, and whether Vick had anything to do with it.

There is, however, some proof that Vick was not around during the shooting.

There were apparently several cameras outside aimed in the direction of where the fight took place, and Vick was not present. There are also several witnesses who say Vick had left the club a good 15 minutes before anything happened outside.

"We were already gone by the time that stuff started happening, so I don't know what's going to go on with that or whatever, but we didn't have anything to do with it," Falcons receiver Roddy White told the media on Friday.

So it's clear that a) Vick was not the one who pulled the trigger, and b) he wasn't on the premises when the shooting occurred.

Because of those two factors, police spokesman Adam Bernstein has told the media that Vick is "of no interest to us" moving forward in the case.

That's great for Vick from the legal side of things, but commissioner Roger Goodell has shown that he could care less about what the legal system thinks, and has no issue punishing a player for doing anything he finds detrimental to the NFL brand.

The league will have to find out what really happened that night. Goodell will more than likely talk to Vick and get his side of the story, but he's going to need a very good explanation as to why he would be hosting a party at a nightclub, and why in the world Phillips was anywhere close to it.

Goodell specifically told Vick to stay away from Phillips and any of the other co-defendants from his case, so if Vick invited Phillips it's going to get very ugly for him very quickly.

My guess on what truly went down is that Vick was having this party, and Phillips found out about it through the grapevine. He probably decided he was going to show up, crash it, and wound up messing with the wrong guy on the wrong night.

Vick likely left to avoid another confrontation with Phillips, but that Phillips wasn't ready to leave without a fight. And unfortunately for him, he found one with a guy who just happened to be armed and had an itchy trigger-finger.

But even if that is the case, which would present the best possible scenario for Vick, it still raises two very important questions.

One, why is Vick even hosting a party at a nightclub? He has got to know that's only going to bring trouble because of the venue and because of his name and it's location, as Virginia Beach isn't exactly a place the elderly go to retire.

And two, why is he associating with a guy who is carrying a gun around with him? Unless you're a cop or a hunter, there's really no reason to ever have a gun on you. And even if you're either of those two things, there's still no reason to be carrying a weapon while you're at a party.

Only thugs who have pissed off someone as stupid as them need to have a gun on them at all times, and that's obviously not a guy Vick should be palling around with.

For his bad judgment, it wouldn't be surprising to see Vick suspended for a game or two. He was warned once before that he had better start making better choices and watching the company he keeps, but clearly he hasn't heeded that advice and might need another reminder.

And if Vick gets suspended yet again, it's possible the Eagles could simply wash their hands of him altogether and cut him loose in order to avoid another ugly PR battle.

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