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Vick's plea shortens sentence

GERALD POINDEXTERDropped cruelty charge GERALD POINDEXTERDropped cruelty charge (Gary C. Knapp/Associated Press)
Associated Press / November 26, 2008
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With a steady gaze and another apology, Michael Vick took an important step toward returning to football.

The former star quarterback pleaded guilty to a state dogfighting charge yesterday in Sussex, Va., and the prosecutor dropped an animal cruelty count. Surry Circuit Judge Samuel Campbell accepted the deal and gave Vick a suspended three-year sentence - far less than the maximum 10-year term he could have faced.

The move clears the way for Vick's possible transition to a halfway house, and brings his aim of another chance at professional football closer.

Vick was temporarily brought back to Virginia from Leavenworth, Kan., where he is serving a 23-month sentence after pleading guilty to bankrolling a dogfighting operation. In the federal case, Vick admitted helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well in test fights.

Vick, 28, is scheduled for release next July 20, and will serve three years of probation. He also has been suspended by the NFL and would need commissioner Roger Goodell's approval before rejoining the league.

Vick's latest plea is important because it resolves the remaining charges against him, which is required under federal law if he is to move into a halfway house.

Prosecutor Gerald Poindexter defended dropping the animal cruelty charge and not asking for additional prison time.

"I feel that what I did today is approved by more than a majority of Surry County, and that's the constituency that I'm concerned about," he said.

Reports: Quinn's done

According to several reports, Browns quarterback Brady Quinn will miss the remainder of the season with a broken right index finger he made worse by playing Sunday.

Citing unnamed sources, FOXsports.com and the Cleveland Plain Dealer said the break on Quinn's finger worsened after he tried to play through the injury. Quinn initially broke the tip of the finger and damaged a tendon Nov. 17 at Buffalo.

Quinn flew to Birmingham, Ala., yesterday to be examined by Dr. James Andrews, and was advised by Andrews, as well as specialists brought in by the Browns, to end his season before the tendon tore from the bone.

Quinn is now debating whether to have surgery. Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz told the Associated Press that Quinn will meet with medical personnel and the coaching staff this morning.

Historic weekend

With the Saints and Packers combining for 80 points Monday night, the NFL shattered a league record with 837 points scored in one weekend. The previous high was 788, done three times. New Orleans drilled visiting Green Bay, 51-29, getting four touchdown passes from Drew Brees . . . The Texans placed running back Ahman Green on injured reserve after he hurt his left knee Sunday . . . Colts guard Ryan Lilja will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury . . . Former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander was released by the Redskins after getting only 11 carries in five games . . . The Falcons signed wide receiver Michael Jenkins to a four-year contract extension and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux to a five-year extension . . . The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its list of 25 semifinalists for the class of 2009. The four first-time eligibles are Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson, Shannon Sharpe, and John Randle.

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