Vick to Plead Guilty on Federal Charges

Nike Mum on Future of NFL Star's Endorsement Deal

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) – Nike looks one step closer to parting ways with Michael Vick now that an attorney for the Atlanta Falcons quarterback said the football player intends to plead guilty to federal charges related to his role in an interstate dogfighting ring.
Michael Vick
Michael Vick Credit: Tami Chappell

NFL suspension possible
Lawyer Billy Martin said: "Michael Vick ... has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him. 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. Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter."

Mr. Vick is expected to face at least a year in prison, followed by a lengthy suspension from the National Football League thereafter.

Nike only remaining deal
Once a highly sought-after endorser because of his awesome physical talent—he is considered by experts to be among the strongest-armed and fleetest-footed quarterbacks in the history of the game -- most have abandoned him following a run of progressively more serious off-the-field troubles that culminated in the dogfighting charges.

His only major remaining endorsement deal is with Nike, which suspended Mr. Vick from its endorser roster July 27. Nike repeatedly has said it was awaiting a final decision on Mr. Vick's status because he was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Asked today how Mr. Vick's plan to plead guilty affects his standing with the company, a spokesman said Nike would not comment until Mr. Vick appeared in court to enter it. That's expected to occur Aug. 27.
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