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Michael Vick Pleads Guilty to Dogfighting Charges; Looking for Early Release

Micheal Vick

Micheal Vick

ESPN has reported that Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick yesterday pleaded guilty to state dogfighting charges, perhaps paving the way for an early release from prison and return to the NFL.  A cruelty to animals charge was dropped as part of his plea deal.

Vick has been serving a 23 month sentence in Leavenworth, KS for bankrolling dogfighting and participating in the killing of under performing dogs. Vick is scheduled to be released July 20, 2009 but will then have to serve three years of probation.  It looks like he will potentially be released just in time for the start of an NFL training camp assuming everything goes to plan.  According to ESPN, by pleading guilty to state dogfighting charges Vick hopes to spend three months of his sentence in a halfway house and have another 3 weeks of home detention.  This will allow him to move on with his life at a faster rate and put the ugliness of his past behind him.

It looks as if Michael Vick received some good legal advice.  By taking responsibility for his actions he can hope that the NFL will show him mercy and allow him to return to competition.  Hopefully Prison ball has been enough to keep him in good enough shape over the last couple of years.

The first issue that must be resolved for Vick to make a return to football is to get clearance from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  In my opinion if Adam Pac Man Jones and Tank Johnson can get multiple chances to redeem themselves, why not Vick? I really don’t think his suspension will be an issue as long as he plays ball and abides by the stipulations set out by the NFL for his return.

The next question is, will an NFL team want to take a chance on a former superstar turned potentially out of shape criminal.  My guess is that somebody will give him a tryout and offer up the league minimum.  It is a small risk for a potentially very high reward.  Any team that retains Vick’s services would certainly have to deal with some bad public relations when PETA activists and others show up at games to protest.  If one thing is certain, winning football games can change almost anybody’s attitude in a community.  Here’s hoping that Vick can turn things around, and if he can’t I’m sure the CFL or the Arena League would take him with open arms.


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