Judge Rules Vick Can Keep Bonus Money

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A ruling by a federal judge will allow jailed quarterback Michael Vick to keep nearly 20 million dollars in bonus money he received from the Atlanta Falcons.

The NFL club sought to recover the money, paid from 2004-2007, after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operation.

The Falcons argued that Vick used proceeds from a contract he signed in 2004 to finance his illicit activities and a special master ruled in October that the team was entitled to a refund.

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

Vick received a 23-month jail sentence and entered a minimum-security prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, last month.

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