Skip to main content
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Vick waits to hear if he has NFL future

  • Story Highlights
  • Falcons owner "not really surprised" by Vick plea deal
  • NFL expected to announce how the case will affect his career
  • Prosecutors offered Vick 18-36 months in prison, sources tell CNN
  • Three of Vick's co-defendants have pleaded guilty in dogfighting case
  • Next Article in U.S. »
From Mike Phelan
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is waiting to hear if he'll ever play professional football again after agreeing to plead guilty and face prison in his federal dogfighting case.

NFL star Michael Vick has accepted an offer to plead guilty to conspiracy in his dogfighting case.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told the NFL Network Monday he could not speculate on Vick's future as a Falcon, at least not until he has seen "a statement of facts" in the case.

Blank said he was "not really surprised" by news of the quarterback's plea deal.

"From a personal standpoint, he's doing the right thing," Blank said. "That's been my counsel to him some while ago, and publicly as well, to get this behind him as quickly as he can."

The plea deal, Blank added, was "a step, and we'll just deal with the facts as they become available." Video Watch how Vick was left with no choice »

Vick's attorneys had been negotiating with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell's office about Vick's career with the Atlanta Falcons before he agreed to any deal, the sources said.

It's unclear if a conversation ever happened but Vick's attorney Billy Martin said his client "agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his action and the mistakes he has made."

"Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter," Martin said.

After Vick's indictment last month, Goodell ordered the quarterback not to report to training camp until the league completed its own review of the case.

An NFL spokesman said that the league "is aware" of Vick's plea agreement and is considering what, if any, sanctions they should impose on the 27-year-old.

"We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons," the spokesman said in a statement.

"We will conclude our own review under the league's personal conduct policy as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have asked the Falcons to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner."

According to Martin, Vick will appear August 27 in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, where the charges were brought, to enter the plea. The deal means Vick will avoid more serious charges that would have been considered by a grand jury that was to have convened the same day. See a timeline of the case against Vick »

Earlier, sources close to the case told CNN that federal prosecutors offered to recommend an 18- to 36-month prison sentence for the suspended star quarterback for his alleged role in the dogfighting operation, but that Vick's attorneys were trying to reduce that to less than a year.

The judge in the case will have the final say over the plea agreement.

The U.S. attorney's office in Richmond would not discuss the case with CNN.

And the Falcons posted a response on their Web site, saying the team was "troubled" by the news.

Vick's three codefendants in the dogfighting case had already accepted agreements to plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences.

Court documents released last week showed that two of Vick's alleged partners said he helped kill dogs that didn't fight well, and that the three men "executed approximately eight dogs" in ways that included hanging and drowning.

The dogs were killed because they fared poorly in "testing" sessions in April at Vick's property in Virginia, where the dogfighting venture was based, according to documents released following guilty pleas from two co-defendants -- Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta. See what Vick's former co-defendants admitted »


Peace and Phillips pleaded guilty Friday. A third man, Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia, pleaded guilty July 30.

In the court documents, Peace and Phillips said that the money behind the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation came "almost exclusively" from Vick, and they told prosecutors that other accusations in the 18-page indictment are true. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Michael VickNFL Football

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print