Vick reaches plea agreement according to lawyer

RICHMOND, Va. – Michael Vick’s lawyer said yesterday the NFL star would plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, putting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback’s career in jeopardy and leaving him subject to a possible prison term.

The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines most likely would call for less. Vick’s plea hearing is Aug. 27.

Lead defense attorney Billy Martin said Vick reached an agreement with federal prosecutors after consulting with his family over the weekend.

“Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made,” Martin said in a statement. “Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.”

Martin later told The Associated Press he could not divulge any specifics of the plea agreement or how much time Vick can expect to serve in prison.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons’ training camp, but has withheld further action while the league conducts its own investigation.

“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 league said in a statement. The NFL added that it has asked the Falcons “to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner.”

Martin said salvaging Vick’s NFL career was never part of the discussions.