Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a dogfighting ring, according to a statement from his attorney.
In the statement, Vick agreed to plead guilty and accept a plea deal "after consulting with his family" and will "accept full responsibility for the mistakes he has made," Fox News reported Monday.
Vick is expected to be sentenced next Monday at US District Court here. He could face up to five years in prison and fines of more than 250,000 dollars as a result of the charges.
A grand jury was hearing evidence Monday on more possible charges that could have been filed against Vick, including racketeering gambling charges that might have substantially raised the stakes and possible prison term Vick might face.
The agreement also brings into question Vick's National Football League future. Vick had been banned from the Falcons' training camp by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell until his role in the scheme was more fully explained.
Three co-defendants of Vick had agreed to plea deals in exchange for contributing evidence to the case against Vick, who was charged with taking animals over state lines as part of a dogfight gambling ring.
Graphic details of his abuse of the dogs, including brutal methods of killing the animals, led to protests against him outside the courtroom and the club's headquarters.
This is really all he could do, after the two co-defendants copped pleas in exchange for testifying against him. Once that happened, Vick was screwed either way. Plead guilty? Well, you've just admitted you tortured and killed dogs for monetary gain. Football career's over, and you're probably facing massive fines and
jail time. Plead innocent, and it's likely that you'll be found guilty after these other guys testify against you -- and then your reputation will be even further tarnished because you said you were innocent!
Personally, I think Vick should be thrown in jail for a few years at least, fined to the high heavens, and never be allowed to set foot on an NFL football field again. Hopefully that is what will happen, but you never know -- celebrity justice and all.