NFL quarterback Michael Vick is likely to plead guilty to dogfighting charges, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.
Two sources told the paper that the Atlanta Falcons star's decision is based on what it will do to his football career.
"It is a very good chance he will plead guilty," one source told the paper on condition of anonymity. "He definitely wants to play football again. His love is for football. And he would love to play for the Falcons again. But first and foremost is to get back on the field."
Meanwhile, plea hearings for Vick's two co-defendants in a federal dogfighting conspiracy case will now be held on Friday.
The hearing for Purnell Peace, 35, had originally been set for Thursday before U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson. The case has been rescheduled for Friday, 15 minutes after the hearing for Quanis Phillips, 28.
An entry on the court's docket did not give a reason for postponing Peace's hearing. However, the revised schedule will streamline proceedings in the high-profile cases.
Another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, has already pleaded guilty to his role in the dogfighting enterprise and agreed to testify against Vick.
Prosecutors said at Taylor's plea hearing that they expected a superseding indictment against Vick this month. The threat of additional charges and testimony by three former partners in the alleged dogfighting operation increases the pressure on Vick to also negotiate a plea agreement, according to legal experts.
A statement of facts signed by Taylor as part of his plea agreement said Vick financed virtually all of the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting enterprise on Vick's property in Surry County, Va.
Vick, 27, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. His trial is scheduled for Nov. 26.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
A search of the Surry County property in April turned up dozens of pit bulls, some of them injured, as well as equipment commonly used in dogfighting.
The July 17 indictment said dogs that lost fights or fared poorly in test fights were sometimes executed by hanging, electrocution or other brutal means. The grisly details have fueled public protests against Vick and have cost him some of his lucrative endorsement deals.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp while the league investigates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.