A U.S. District judge ruled on Monday that Michael Vick will only have to repay $3.75 million of the $20 million bonus that the Atlanta Falcons was trying to recover from Vick.
A previous arbitrator had ruled that Vick had to pay the Falcons $20 million in bonuses because of his prison sentence and his indefinite suspension by the NFL. But Judge David Doty overturned this decision.
Rich McKay, president of the Falcons, stated, “While we are disappointed by Judge Doty’s decision, this ruling does not affect our salary cap management for the 2008 season. Any potential recovery would have only affected our 2009 salary cap. As to our future legal strategies, we will meet with our legal representatives to more fully understand our options before making that determination.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello expressed his criticism towards the ruling, “It makes no sense that an individual who willfully violates his contract is entitled to be paid tens of millions of dollars even though he is in jail and providing no services whatsoever to his employer.”
Doty ruled that all but $3.75 million of the money the Falcons sought was non-signing bonus money.
If Vick repays the Falcons $3.75 million, the Falcons would receive a credit for that amount toward the salary cap a year after receiving the money. If Vick never pays the money, the Falcons never receive the credit.
In other Vick related news, a default judgment for $1.08 million has been entered against Vick and his business partner in a lawsuit over a loan for an Atlanta-area wine shop and restaurant.
Wachovia Bank filed the federal lawsuit several months ago saying that Vick and his partner failed to make monthly payments and that Vickâ€™s obligations were â€œimpaired due to recent events involving Defendant Vick.â€