The AJC reports that U.S. District Judge David Doty has overturned an earlier ruling that indicated that Michael Vick was liable to repay nearly $20 million in bonus money. In October, NFL Special Master Stephen Burbank ruled that Falcons could recoup $19.97 million in bonus money paid to Vick due to his league-imposed suspension. Burbank’s ruling went against previous rulings that indicated option and roster bonuses could not be recouped by teams.
The Falcons were counting on the repaid bonus money in order to gain cap relief in the near future. It is unknown as of yet, if Vick will have to repay any portion of the bonuses. In Burbank’s ruling, slightly more than $16 million of the $19.97 million was from roster bonuses. Doty’s ruling may only mean that the Falcons will be able to recoup about $3.75 million in bonuses, which is initially what some experts projected.
Vick is currently serving his 23-month jail sentence in Kansas.
Currently the Falcons are projected by SI.com to have about $5.79 million in cap space in 2008.