Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick as agreed to a plea deal. The terms of the deal were not announced, but Vick will be sentenced next week and could get five years in prison, although that is unlikely. Chances are he will get one year--to start almost immediately and he could be out with 80% of his sentenced served by July of next year--in time for NFL training camps.
With the plea deal, the big question mark will be the NFL suspension to be handed out by Commissioner Roger Goodell. The variables will be how much Vick lied to Goodell (and he almost certainly lied to the Commissioner) and how much Goodell wants to make an example of Vick.
As one of the NFL's marquee players, if Goodell give Vick anything less than a full year suspension (the same given to Adam "Pacman" Jones who was not convicted of anything), Goodell will be charged with being unfair. Anything much more than a year may trash Vick's career, not that such a move would necessarily be a bad thing for the NFL.
For me, I would like to see Goodell void Vick's contract if at all possible, lose all guaranteed money for this year (if there is any), have a suspension of 8 games to run when and if he returns to the NFL, in addition to all teh time he will miss by sitting in prison. If Vick gets no prison time (which is highly unlikely), Vick must sit this season and at least 4 games of next season. I think a nice hefty fine is in order as well, with the NFL giving the money over to dog rescue charties.
Goodell cannot be seen as favoring Vick any more than any other player. Vick's crimes were certainly serious and compounded by the lies he must have told Goodell and Goodell, if he is to be taken seriously by the owners, the players and the players' association must be viewed as scrupuously fair.