A spokesman for Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's lawyers declined comment yesterday on media reports about a possible plea agreement in his federal dogfighting conspiracy case.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing a person with knowlege of the negotiations, said Vick's attorneys are working to reach such an agreement before new charges are handed down next week. The paper said if Vick reaches an agreement by the end of this week, he would not have to answer to any additional charges.
But spokesman Collins R. Spencer 3d didn't rule out the possibility of an announcement by the Vick team this week, probably in Richmond, where the case is pending in US District Court.
Spencer, contacted as he left the office of Vick attorney Daniel L. Meachum in Atlanta, would not elaborate on the possible announcement. Neither Meachum nor attorney William R. Martin, leader of the five-member defense team, returned phone messages.
A New York Times report said the assertion that Vick gambled on the dogfighting appears to be a more serious threat to his pro career and freedom than the federal charges. The paper said the set of new indictments against Vick includes counts stemming from gambling he is suspected of having financed on the fights.
It also said the plea agreement Vick is weighing would probably put him in prison for one to two years, according to an individual with direct knowlege of the case.
Prosecutors have more leverage against Vick now that his remaining two co-defendants decided to plead guilty.
"He's hanging out there by himself, and that's a very uncomfortable place to be," said Anne Coughlin, a University of Virginia School of Law professor.
Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, is to appear in federal court in Richmond tomorrow and Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, Friday.
Last month, co-defendant Tony Taylor of Hampton, Va., pleaded guilty to his role in a dogfighting conspiracy he says was financed almost entirely by Vick. As part of a plea agreement, Taylor is required to cooperate with the prosecution in the case against Vick.
Vick's trial is Nov. 26. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Jets, Revis closer
The Jets and first-round draft pick Darrelle Revis
were closing in on a deal last night to end the touted cornerback's lengthy training camp holdout.
"We've made major, substantial progress," Revis's agent, Neil Schwartz, said.
Schwartz and Revis were at Jets headquarters at Hofstra University discussing a deal with general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
Schwartz was uncertain if an agreement would be struck sometime last night or early today.
Revis, taken 14th overall after New York traded up for him, became the Jets' first unsigned pick at the start of training camp since linebacker James Farrior in 1997.
McDougle out for year
Jaguars guard/tackle Stockar McDougle
ruptured his left Achilles' tendon and will be out for the season, the team's second significant injury on the offensive line. Jacksonville already is playing without starting center Brad Meester
, who broke his right ankle two weeks ago and will miss at least the first three games of the regular season. McDougle injured his Achilles' tendon during practice Monday night, but the team didn't know the severity of the injury until yesterday . . . Giants tight end Darcy Johnson
hurt his right knee in a collision with a defender during a one-on-one drill in a morning practice. Coach Tom Coughlin
said the preliminary diagnosis was a sprained medial collateral ligament and that an MRI was planned . . . Bills backup defensive tackle John McCargo
hurt his left ankle and was unable to complete practice . . . The NFL's new concussion guidelines were formalized and will be sent to all players and team personnel. A telephone hotline will make it easier to report to the league when a player with a head injury is being forced to practice or play against medical advice.
Warren on way out
The Denver Broncos said they expect to part ways with defensive tackle Gerard Warren
, either by trading or releasing the seven-year veteran. Warren didn't make the trip to San Francisco Monday night for the Broncos' 17-13 exhibition victory over the 49ers . . . Raiders coach Lane Kiffin
underwent more tests in the hospital as he missed another practice while recovering from a viral infection . . . The Fox NFL announcing team of Dick Stockton
and Daryl Johnston
is splitting up. The network said Johnston will work with play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert
this season, while Stockton will call games with analyst Brian Baldinger
. Joe Buck
, Troy Aikman
, and Pam Oliver
remain Fox's top announcing team. Curt Menefee
is the new host of Fox's NFL Sunday pregame show, which adds Barry Switzer
as an analyst. Switzer and fellow former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson
will host a weekly segment.
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