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Originally published Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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NHL | Falcons release Michael Vick

Less than five years after the Atlanta Falcons signed Michael Vick to a $130 million contract, the suspended quarterback was released in...

ATLANTA — Less than five years after the Atlanta Falcons signed Michael Vick to a $130 million contract, the suspended quarterback was released in a 98-word statement.

Before Friday's announcement — a move that clears Vick to sign with any team in the league — general manager Thomas Dimitroff called the team's former franchise player.

Dimitroff said the 28-year-old Vick, who has missed two seasons while serving a prison sentence for running a dogfighting ring, deserved to hear first about his release. He said Vick "was upbeat" in the short conversation and was looking forward to moving on.

"Respect him as an individual and as an athlete in this profession," Dimitroff said. "It was the right thing to do, and I'm happy that we had a conversation today."

Dimitroff said releasing Vick allows the Falcons "to have a clean slate going into the summer" and allows Vick the freedom to negotiate with other teams.

Vick is eligible to immediately sign with a team even though he has not been reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Falcons' move was not a surprise.

"Everybody always knew that Mike wouldn't be playing with the Falcons," said Vick's agent, Joel Segal. "He's really just taking it one day at a time."

Vick, once the highest-paid player in the league, is making $10 an hour as a construction worker while he serves the final two months of his sentence on home confinement in Hampton, Va. He was released from federal prison in Kansas on May 20.

Atlanta had long since turned the page on Vick. The Falcons made quarterback Matt Ryan of Boston College the No. 3 pick in last year's draft. Ryan started every game as a rookie and led the Falcons to the playoffs.

Vick was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and led the Falcons to the 2005 NFC Championship Game.

QB Green retires


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Trent Green, a former Pro Bowl quarterback, has decided to retire after 15 seasons and plans to pursue a career in broadcasting.

Agent Jim Steiner said the 38-year-old Green was proud of a career that included a Super Bowl ring with St. Louis and two Pro Bowl appearances with Kansas City, but was ready to get on to the next phase of his life.

"He thinks it's the right time," Steiner said. "He had a long, prosperous, very successful career. He believes he can still play, but the demand isn't real high out there right now and he's not the type of guy who is going to sit around for four or five months waiting for the phone to ring."

Green's best seasons were in Kansas City from 2001 to 2006.


• Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall missed a mandatory minicamp in Englewood, Colo., but met later in the day with coach Josh McDaniels.

"We're going to do the best thing we can for the organization and for Brandon," McDaniels said before the meeting. "If those two things are the same, then it will work out."

Marshall, 25, is due $2.2 million this season, the final year of a four-year contract he signed as a rookie. The Broncos could fine the Pro Bowl player up to $9,070 for missing the mandatory minicamp.

• ESPN reported a member of the Vikings' coaching staff and an athletic trainer will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to work with retired quarterback Brett Favre. The network, citing a source, did not reveal the specific coach, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has a close relationship with Favre, dating to their time together in Green Bay.

Favre, 39, who was released by the New York Jets in April, reportedly had surgery to repair a partially torn biceps tendon two weeks ago.

Plaxico Burress, a former New York Giants wide receiver, will have to wait awhile longer before he knows the legal consequences of accidentally shooting himself with an unlicensed pistol. His case will be adjourned until September.

Burress, 31, shot himself in the thigh Nov. 29 in a Manhattan nightclub. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and faces up to 3 ½ years in prison. Burress has pleaded not guilty and is free on $100,000 bail.

• Receiver James Thrash, 34, was released by Washington after failing a physical. He has been unable to practice during the offseason because of a neck injury that has him contemplating retirement.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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