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Vick's old pal appears ready to turn

Michael Vick might not only never play another down in the NFL but he may have to live out the rest of his days on Elba.

Former pal and co-defendant Tony Taylor, who was named in a federal indictment as a confederate along with Vick and two other other men in Bad Newz Kennels, pleaded guilty today in federal court to conspiracy charges. That conspiracy involved interstate commerce in futherance of racketeering and of sponsoring a dog in an illegal fighting venture.

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Taylor said today that as part of his plea, he was not promised a specific sentence by government prosecutors.  However, as anyone who has ever watched Law & Order knows, the quality of a cooperating witness' testimony often plays a role in a prosecutor's recommendation to a judge at sentencing.  Without pretending to know the specifics about what's happening in this case, I do know from covering federal courts that federal sentencing guidelines leave less discretion in handing out prison time than in local court systems.  Still, a prosecutor's recommendation carries considerable weight meaning that Taylor has plenty of motivation in not leaving out any details about the culpability of his co-conspirators.

In other words, Taylor's testimony has the Atlanta Falcons quarterback facing a zillion times more pressure than he ever did when he dropped back to pass.

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On top of that, the Upper Deck trading card company joined the corporate flight from Vick in suspending sales of Vick-related merchandise and by pulling his card from the upcoming season's collection.  Nike finally bailed on Vick and Reebok stopped selling his No. 7 jersey.  It's still available on eBay.

Photo credit:  Rob Carr/AP

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