If you glance at the invaluable BGN Jason's diary on Vick, it'll get you up to speed for the following discussion. Go ahead, go do it. I'll wait.
So Vick's probably going to be suspended. This is probably the most anticlimactic part of this whole process; if you didn't see this coming from the instant Goodell barred Vick from training camp, then you probably throw matches on gasoline and act shocked when your house blows up. It's sad how little the looming suspension bothers me, as I've already grown accustomed to the idea that Vick is going to be gone this year. I've gotten so into the daily trials of Harrington, Redman and Shockley that Vick's already kind of fading into the background. As the season wears on, I suspect that will continue to be the case. If the team does exceptionally well we'll all be excited and if they suck we'll all be complaining about it. The only people who are likely to pine for Vick all year are the ones who were never really fans of the Falcons to begin with. I wish him the best in his trial, but once Goodell drops that other cleat he's no longer an Atlanta Falcon for this year. It's the best solution for the league, the best solution for the Falcons, and definitely the best solution for Vick.
I'll keep up with the trial, but I'll be watching a lot more game film than court proceedings.
I've been over what this means for the team before, so let's not rehash that. Instead, I'd like to address the interesting question BGN Jason asked in his diary: what is the NFL Player's Association going to do about this? Given the limp-wristed way the NFLPA has dealt with Goodell and Tagliabue's decisions in the past, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if there's a couple day's worth of finger-wagging and then absolutely nothing. Unlike the extremely violent measures the NBA and MLB player unions sometimes go through to defend a player who, say, ran a sweatshop and kicked an old lady in the face, the NFLPA tends to not even bother when there's a chance they might lose. It's unusual because this is technically Vick's first arrest and there's no conviction, and in a lot of ways it sets a pretty dangerous precedent for arrests and legal troubles which follow it. At the same time, I really believe the NFLPA doesn't have the necessary cojones to challenge it.
So in a nutshell, I expect Vick to be suspended within a week or so. I expect some rights groups and the NFLPA to make a little noise about it, and then I expect Vick to gradually fade out of the public view until the trial. Depending on the verdict, Vick may get a chance to come back to the Falcons or at least the league next year. The only really certain thing is that Vick is going to be suspended, and whatever your feelings toward him, this isn't the situation the Falcons--or the league--hoped to be in right now.