Jailed quarterback Michael Vick can keep all but US$3.75 million of the nearly $20 million in bonus money he received from the Atlanta Falcons following a ruling Monday by a federal judge.
The Falcons sought to recover the bonuses after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operation. The bonuses were paid from 2004-07.
A special master ruled in October the Falcons were entitled to recover the bonuses. The Falcons argued Vick used proceeds from a contract he signed in 2004 to finance his illicit activities.
But U.S. District Judge David Doty of Minneapolis ruled that recovery of most of the bonus money by the Falcons would violate the NFL collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement does not allow roster bonus money to be forfeited once it’s been earned, the judge wrote.
The NFL criticized Doty’s ruling. The league has suspended Vick indefinitely without pay.
Source: Sudbury Star