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Report: Vick Offered Plea Deal

Michael Vick has been offered a plea agreement for his alleged role in a dogfighting operation, according to a news report Tuesday.

Attorneys for the embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback met with federal prosecutors Monday, ESPN reported.

Vick has until Friday to accept or reject the agreement, EPSN reported. If he declines the plea deal, Vick will face at least two more federal dogfighting charges, ESPN reported.

Federal investigators filed an indictment July 17 against Vick, Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, Va.; Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta; and Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton. The indictment stated that a grisly dogfighting operation called "Bad Newz Kennels" was run on property he owned in Surry, Va.

All four pleaded not guilty July 26, but Taylor became a government witness four days later after changing his plea. Peace and Phillips have scheduled hearings to enter plea agreements on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

"They didn't see it coming," Collins R. Spencer III, a spokesman for Vick's attorneys, told ESPN of the plea deals.

According to a new CBS News/New York Times poll out Tuesday, 44 percent of Americans think that Vick is not being treated any differently by the authorities because of his status as a professional athlete.

Opinions on Vick's treatment differ depending on respondents' race, however. According to the poll, 39 percent of whites, but only 26 percent of blacks, say Vick is being treated better than the average American. Thirty-two percent of blacks, but only 6 percent of whites, say he is being treated worse.

The NFL said it has not completed its investigation of Vick.

Eric Holder, a former deputy attorney general retained by the league, is still gathering facts on Vick's alleged involvement in dogfighting, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday.

"The commissioner has not made any decision," Aiello said.

Commissioner Roger Goodell last month barred Vick from reporting to training camp and he can also use the NFL's personal conduct policy to suspend him for the 2007 season.

Vick was the NFL's No. 1 overall draft choice in 2001. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he last year became the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. In December 2004, Vick signed a 10-year, $130 million contract, then the NFL's richest.

Public outrage over the alleged crimes caused Vick to lose endorsements or have contracts suspended with Nike, Reebok, Upper Deck and Rawlings, among others.

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