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Guilty Plea Would End Mike Vick's NFL Career

Jul 22, 2007 – 8:37 AM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

Many of the stories about Michael Vick's federal indictment include speculation from defense attorneys about a possible plea bargain. Bill Rankin of Cox News Service writes:

[Federal sentencing] guidelines also favor defendants who accept responsibility for their actions as quickly as possible and who agree to cooperate by testifying against co-defendants or assisting in a broader investigation.

Criminal defense attorneys who have examined the 18-page indictment -- which is chock-full of details about fights, bets and dogs, including their names and gender -- said they suspect Vick's lawyer, Lawrence Woodward, is already exploring those options. They also suggest lawyers for Vick's three co-defendants could be weighing them as well. A well-worn adage in criminal defense is that the first person to the courthouse door often gets the best deal.

From a legal standpoint, I'll let the defense attorneys weigh whether Vick should consider a plea bargain. But from a football standpoint, I'll say this: A guilty plea would end Vick's NFL career.

A guilty plea would consist of Vick standing up in open court and admitting that he has had some involvement in the brutal, cruel enterprise of dog fighting. If he does that and is still allowed to play in the NFL, animal rights groups will stage massive protests of every major NFL sponsor.

There is absolutely no chance that Roger Goodell would ever allow Vick back in the league if he pleads guilty. An acquittal is Vick's only chance of saving his football career.
Filed under: Sports