For the third time in nine months, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Vick reluctantly surrendered a water bottle to security at Miami International Airport that smelled like marijuana and contained a substance in a hidden compartment. He was not arrested and was allowed to board an AirTran flight that landed in Atlanta before noon Wednesday.
Miami police said yesterday it could be weeks before a decision is made on whether to file charges against the three-time Pro Bowler.
Under Florida law, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Vick's 20-ounce water bottle was found to have a compartment that contained "a small amount of dark particulate and a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana," a Miami police report said. The compartment was hidden by the bottle's label so that it appeared to be a full bottle of water when held upright, police said.
The NFL's substance abuse policy states any team can decide that a player's "behavior, including but not limited to an arrest," can warrant a physical exam from its appointed medical director. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said no decision had been made in Vick's case.
Last April, Vick settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed the player knowingly gave her herpes. In November, Vick made an obscene gesture toward Atlanta fans who heckled the team as it came off the field after a 31-13 loss to New Orleans. Vick apologized profusely, paid a $10,000 team fine, and donated another $10,000 to charity.
Decision time in Miami
The Dolphins hope to complete their two-week search for a coach by tomorrow, and the front-runner appears to be Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron
. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported yesterday that Cameron and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey
are the finalists . . . The Giants made Kevin Gilbride
their offensive coordinator, an expected move after he replaced John Hufnagel
in the week leading up to the team's final regular-season game . . . Larry Coyer
joined the Buccaneers as an assistant head coach. Coyer was the Broncos' defensive coordinator the past four seasons . . . Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck
is expected to be sidelined for six months after having surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder . . . The Jaguars locked up a key defensive starter, signing linebacker Daryl Smith
to a five-year contract extension worth about $25 million . . . Brain damage caused on the football field ultimately led to the suicide of former NFL defensive back Andre Waters
, according to a forensic pathologist who studied Waters's brain tissue. Bennet Omalu
of the University of Pittsburgh told The New York Times
that Waters's brain tissue resembled that of an 85-year-old man and that there were characteristics of early stage Alzheimer's. Omalu told the paper he believed the damage was related to multiple concussions Waters sustained during his 12-year NFL career. Waters was 44 when he committed suicide last November.
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