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Michael Vick files for bankruptcy

Michael Vick pauses during a statement to the press at a hotel in Richmond, Virginia in this August 27, 2007, file photo. Vick has filed for bankruptcy protection, court papers show. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Vick, the former star National Football League quarterback serving a 23-month prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring, has filed for bankruptcy protection, court papers show.

Vick had debts of between $10 million and $50 million, according to a Chapter 11 petition filed on Monday with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Newport News, Virginia. His assets also totaled between $10 million and $50 million. The petition did not offer more specifics.

The filing came after Vick failed to resolve a legal dispute with one large creditor, Joel Enterprises Inc., which is owed $4.5 million for breach of contract, court papers show.

According to papers filed by Vick’s lawyers, “the hope” is that Vick “can, after the conclusion of the bankruptcy case, rebuild his life on a personal and spiritual level, resurrect his image as a public figure, and resolve matters with the NFL such that he can resume his career.”

Vick, 28, was the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL draft and a three-time All-Pro quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons.

He pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy in connection with an interstate dogfighting enterprise on his property in rural Virginia.

Vick may be released next summer from the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, court papers show. He had faced a maximum five years in prison.

The NFL has suspended Vick indefinitely. Vick has lost an estimated $100 million in salary and endorsements from companies such as Nike Inc.

According to court papers, other large unsecured creditors include the Falcons franchise, which claims it is owed a $3.75 million pro-rated signing bonus, and Royal Bank of Canada, owed $2.5 million on a loan.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Daniel Trotta

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