Embattled NFL star Michael Vick won another victory today: he’ll be keeping $16 million in bonus money he earned while playing for the Atlanta Falcons before going to prison for dog fighting.It took a while for Vick to be sure the money was his after the NFL, on behalf of the Falcons, demanded it back.
Courthouse News: The National Football League, on behalf of the Falcons, sought a declaration that recovering a pro-rated portion of Vick’s bonus money wouldn’t violate the anti-forfeiture provision of his contract.
The provision was part of a 1993 antitrust settlement between team owners and players, who claimed that cost-cutting measures virtually eliminated free agency and competition among clubs.
The district court allowed Vick to keep the bonus money, saying he’d fully earned it when he appeared on the team’s roster in 2006.
Then, the NFL moved to vacate that ruling, arguing that the district court can no longer enforce the settlement agreement without meddling in the collective bargaining process, as CN notes. But the 8th-circuit district court refused to vacate its ruling for Vick, and a three-judge panel of the St. Louis-based federal appeals court affirmed.
Here’s that last ruling:
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