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Vick plans return to league

Updated: November 25, 2008, 7:37 PM ET
Now that Michael Vick has resolved his legal affairs in Virginia, he can start mentally mapping out his life after jail and how the NFL fits into his plans. According to a source, he has kept in contact with the office of commissioner Roger Goodell during his jail stay and plans to meet with the commissioner before next summer. Because he was remorseful at Tuesday's hearing, he is also making plans to make sure he does the right things in making amends with society for his involvement in dog fighting.

Early next year, he'll start moving from jail into a halfway house and then hope teams show interest in working him out next summer. Teams will be interested, but the names of those teams won't surface now because of potential protests by dog lovers. According to a source, Vick is hopeful the backlash of his return won't be bad. He had about eight protesters at his hearing, which may be a sign society is starting to give him a chance to come back. We'll see.

Atlanta plays it smart: Giving wide receiver Michael Jenkins a four-year extension for around $20 million and giving a five-year, $25 million deal to defensive tackle Jordan Babineaux were natural moves for Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who is clearly happy with the direction of this team. With Matt Ryan in place as the franchise quarterback, the Falcons figure to be a factor in the NFC for years. With a great quarterback in place, the Falcons could end the NFC South's tendency for teams to go from worst to first after this season. At 7-4, the Falcons are one of the league's surprise teams. Blank is making sure it doesn't lose good, young talent.

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