Vick's plea could lead to early release; Browns' Quinn reportedly out for season

The Baltimore Sun

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty yesterday to a state dogfighting charge in Sussex, Va., clearing the way for him to potentially leave a federal prison early and attempt a pro football comeback.

Vick, 28, was sentenced to three years of suspended jail time, none of which will be added to his 23-month federal prison sentence as long as he stays out of trouble for four years.

The three-year sentence was far less than the maximum of 10 years he could have faced.

Vick arrived wearing wrist and ankle shackles with his gray suit, but the restraints were removed by the time he entered his plea. The one-time Atlanta Falcons star also pleaded not guilty to a count of cruelty to animals, but that charge was dropped under his plea deal.

Vick is serving his federal sentence in Leavenworth, Kan., on charges of bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia's rural Surry County. He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.

Vick is scheduled for release July 20 and will serve three years of probation. Now that he has resolved the state charges, he can be released to a federal halfway house up to six months early.

Browns: :, citing unidentified team sources, said quarterback Brady Quinn will miss the rest of the season after doctors revealed that the break to his right index finger has gotten worse since he has tried to play through the injury. Derek Anderson, a former Raven, will return as starter.

More Browns: : Sickened by the team's latest home loss - 16-6 to the Texans on Sunday - owner Randy Lerner insisted he is as committed as ever to winning. Lerner, though, will wait until January before deciding on the future of coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Phil Savage, he said. The two are under fire with Cleveland at 4-7 and out of the playoff picture one season after winning 10 games.

Redskins: : Running back Shaun Alexander, the NFL Most Valuable Player in 2005 with Seattle, was released by Washington after getting only 11 carries in five games. The Redskins replaced him on the roster by signing defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti.

Et cetera: : Steelers running back Willie Parker (left knee inflammation) is questionable for Sunday's key AFC game against the Patriots. ... Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said running back Julius Jones will start against the Cowboys tomorrow, four days after being benched. ... The Texans put running back Ahman Green on injured reserve after he hurt his left knee against the Browns.

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