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Vick court appearance today one more step in dreary journey

Michael Vick was in court again today, this time in Virginia to plead guilty to state dog fighting-related charges, as the former star quarterback's legal problems continue to unwind.

According to reports, Vick's plea deal in Virginia will set the stage for his eventual release from federal custody in July, just about the time that NFL training camps will be opening. Actually. the timing might be a moot point since Vick may still have to spend time in a halfway house that could preclude him from attending an NFL camp.

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However, whether it is this summer or midway through the season or even in anticipation of the 2010 season, at some point Vick will be in a position to ask the NFL to lift his suspension and seek to resume his football career.

The question is will there be any takers?

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Vick may be the most toxic exiled player to ever hope for another chance. Without debating the relative  egregious nature of various bad behavior -- substance abuse, assaults, domestic violence -- that have led to NFL players being suspended, there's no question that the public relations fallout for any team signing Vick will be noisier than in any other case.

So who would take such a chance? Well, a lot will depend on teams' needs at the time and the comfort level with the local fan base. And there will be the not inconsiderable issue of Vicks' skill level after two or more years out of the game.

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