The Michael Vick Dogfighting Soap Opera should be over soon as Vick is scheduled to Plead Guilty Next Monday (August 27th) According to Sources.
to a report by CNN.com, embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has
agreed to a plea deal in his federal dogfighting court case. The deal is to be
completed and signed and ready to go by August 27th when Vick would appear in
court in front of Judge U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson to plead guilty to
his role in the dogfighting enterprise. "After consulting with his family over
the weekend, Michael Vick asked that I announce today that he has reached an
agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him,"
Billy Martin, Vick's attorney, said in a statement issued this afternoon. "Mr.
Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to these charges and to accept full
responsibility for those actions and for the mistakes he has made. Michael
wishes to apologize to everyone who has been hurt by this matter. The legal team
and Mr. Vick will appear in Court in Richmond on Aug. 27." The Judge Hudson, is
planning to announce Vick's plea agreement hearing date this afternoon in
Richmond, a courthouse source said.
Vick, 27, had been implicated by his three co-defendants as the "financier" and leader of the operation. I believe that Vick has seen the light and knows that the evidence that is mounting is too great for even him to out run and he is now trying to find the best way to accept responsibility and move on. A key to the plea for Vick is that he is trying to gauge his possible jail term and suspension before signing the deal, so he can see "when" he can resume his NFL career (I don't know why he is thinking NFL). A source has told CNN that Federal prosecutors had offered a deal recommending an 18- to 36-month prison sentence and Vick's attorneys were trying to reduce that to less than a year. I hate to tell them that the judge has the right to change any plea deal and if he wants to he can issue the full five year sentence, but we will have to wait and see on Monday and at the future sentencing.
Whatever the jail term or suspension the guilty plea ends a horrific saga for the NFL, Michael Vick, and the Atlanta Falcons. Vick through some very bad decisions has now dragged himself and every player in the NFL down with him and he has to pay the piper. It is an unfortunate situation, but the evidence and everything else points to his involvement. Now that the plea will be entered look for NFL attorney and investigator Eric Holder to come forward with his findings that are pretty much already known and for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to issue to 1 to 2 year suspension on Vick. After the suspension Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank will then step away from Vick and release him of his contract, but leaving a very large cloud over his team's entire 2007 season.
Unfortunately for Vick the "Commish" really doesn't have to decide on anything and he can take as long as he wants even until after his jail term. It was not immediately clear whether Vick's attorneys have heard back today from Goodell's office and I don't expect them to. Vick should concentrate on his future in society, because he is going to place where he will not be pampered in any longer and the NFL is going to move on without him.
I still believe that suspension or not, Vick will not be eligible to play football for 3 years and even then most teams will not be willing to sign him as a free agent and take a chance on a convicted felon as their quarterback. I believe the backlash against Vick will be there no matter when he tries to get back in the NFL and three season worth of rust will probably be too great for him to overcome as a passer. My guess is after his jail term, we will be seeing him in the Arena Football League or AF2 and not the NFL, but first Vick will be living in the real lifel version of the "The Longest Yard".
--- Submitted by Lloyd Vance