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Vick gets to keep his $20M SB


Sperm Edwards

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Federal judge rules that Vick's roster bonus can't be recouped by Falcons

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Atlanta Falcons cannot recover nearly $20 million in bonus money paid to suspended star quarterback Michael Vick, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The National Football League team sought to recover the bonuses after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operation. The bonuses were paid from 2004 through 2007.

A special master ruled in October that the Falcons were entitled to recover the bonuses. The Falcons argued that Vick used proceeds from a contract he signed in 2004 to finance his illicit activities.

The NFL Players Association had asked a federal judge to overturn a special master's decision that Vick should forfeit the bonus money because of his guilty plea.

But U.S. District Judge David Doty of Minneapolis ruled that the Falcons recovering the bonus money would violate the NFL collective bargaining agreement. The agreement does not allow signing bonuses to be forfeited for years a player has already performed.

Doty, who has handled cases involving the collective bargaining agreement for nearly 20 years, compared interpreting the relevant section of the contract to "alchemy" late last year.

Arguments turned on interpretations of the collective bargaining agreement. At a November hearing, a union attorney argued that Vick's "roster bonus" should be treated the same as a "performance bonus," which can't be forfeited under the agreement. The league maintained that the roster bonus should be treated like a "signing bonus allocation," which could be forfeited.

Doty ruled that once Vick made the Falcons' 80-man roster, he earned the roster bonuses and the team cannot demand their forfeiture.

Vick received a 23-month sentence. He entered a minimum-security prison in Leavenworth, Kan., last month.

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i'm ok with this. makes sense to me they can't touch previous years bonus. Vick has suffered bigtime for dogfighting. he deserves to but when yer dad tells you that dogfighting is ok & you are raised believing so, the dad becomes the real pos in this debacle

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i'm ok with this. makes sense to me they can't touch previous years bonus. Vick has suffered bigtime for dogfighting. he deserves to but when yer dad tells you that dogfighting is ok & you are raised believing so, the dad becomes the real pos in this debacle

I disagree. When you become an adult, you must take responsiblity for what is right and wrong. You can't be blaming parents your entire life...we're talking about someone who's almost 28...not exactly daddy's little boy anymore.

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If he is in jail, he should have to give back at least the pro-rated amount for the years(s) he will miss

That's what I think. If he had a career-ending (or career-interrupting) injury, that would be different.

Vick is healthy enough to play. He cannot because of personal reasons. IMO no different than if he simply quit. He's not sitting out 3 seasons due to reasons beyond his control. He could control not being in jail by not being a criminal.

The # of years he played under the new deal - he should keep that pro-rated portion of the SB and surrender the balance.

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