League Appeals Latest Ruling in Vick Bonus Case

The NFL appealed the latest ruling in the Michael Vick bonus money case by U.S. District Judge David Doty.

Doty ruled that the Atlanta Falcons were not entitled to force Vick to return $16.22 million in bonus money in the quarterback's 10-year, $130 million contract with the team. That reversed an earlier ruling by NFL special master Stephen Burbank that the Falcons could try to force Vick to return $19.97 million in bonus money via a non-injury grievance with another arbitrator.

Doty's ruling did allow the Falcons to attempt to force Vick to return $3.75 million.

Vick is on indefinite suspension by the league and is serving a 23-month federal prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation. The Falcons contend that he violated his contract and are seeking to force him to return a portion of the $37 million in bonus money in the deal. The NFL represented the Falcons before Burbank and Doty, while the NFL Players Association argued Vick's case.

Burbank is a University of Pennsylvania law professor who's in charge of resolving disputes between the league and players' union arising from their collective bargaining agreement. His decisions are reviewable by Doty, who oversees the league's labor deal.

By Mark Maske |  February 14, 2008; 8:27 PM ET  | Category:  Falcons , League
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