Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank expects Michael Vick to enter into a plea agreement on dogfighting charges and told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio he thought it would be by the end of the day Friday, though no deal had been announced early Saturday morning.
Blank also accused Vick of lying to him and the NFL after one of the NFL
star's co-defendants said Friday that the quarterback took part in
drowning and hanging dogs that didn't perform well.
"What's suggested in those statements of fact don't match up
with what the league was told, even our organization and certainly
not what was said to the commissioner," Blank told The Associated
Press before Atlanta's preseason game against Buffalo.
Blank did say he was aware that negotiations were still taking place at 5 p.m.
Blank's response came after two co-defendants in the federal
dogfighting conspiracy case pleaded guilty earlier Friday, with one
saying Vick helped in killing dogs.
"It's sad that those allegations exist and now they are
confirmed by others," Blank said. "It's sad that Michael has put
himself into that kind of situation. It's his responsibility for
putting himself into that situation."
Blank said he will speak with commissioner Roger Goodell, and
wait for the NFL to complete its investigation.
Vick's career is in jeopardy and he has been barred from joining
the Falcons until the NFL completes its own investigation.
Vick and his representatives have been having talks this past
week. The decision to cut a deal would be regarded as an attempt
for Vick to hold jail time under a year. His other option would be
a trial, in which it's possible details of a Virginia dogfighting operation known as
"Bad Newz Kennels," which was allegedly funded by Vick and
operated on his property, could be revealed.
The case began in April with a search of Vick's property in
Surry County, a few miles from Vick's hometown of Newport News.
Investigators seized dozens of pit bulls, some of them injured, and
equipment typically used in dogfighting operations.
"From a personal perspective, it's just very sad," Blank said.
"It's distressing after six years spending time with somebody, you
think you know them and then there's another side that is shocking
to all of us."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.