Falcons, Vick reach a settlement on contract grievance

The Falcons and suspended quarterback Michael Vick have reached a settlement regarding a grievance that the team filed against him for a breach of contract.

Under the settlement, Vick has agreed to pay the Falcons $7.5 million if the team wins an appeal in the Eighth Circuit Court and $6.5 million if the court upholds U.S. District Judge David Doty’s decision that Vick is only liable for $3.75 million.

The settlement should pave the way for Vick’s imminent release from the team. He has remained under contract with the team while serving a 21-month prison term for his 2007 conviction for bankrolling a dogfighting operation.

In the settlement reached last week, sources say that Vick agreed to let the appeals court make a ruling but would only pay a maximum of $7.5 million and a minimum of $6.5 million. The appeals court is expected to rule no later than June.

While it’ll be nice for the Falcons to get some money back from Vick, from a fan’s perspective the question becomes, does the team get any cap relief in this settlement? Atlanta catches a break in terms of the salary cap with Vick being suspended and he’ll never see the money owed to him in 2010 through 2012 because the Falcons will eventually release him, but what about 2009? If commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t suspend him again once he’s out of prison, then Vick is owed $9 million in 2009, plus another $6.43 million in roster bonuses. Can the Falcons apply the $7.5 million they will/could get in the contract settlement towards that lofty cap number in 2009? Or do they still have to eat his salary because they’re releasing him? Is there life on other planets? What’s the meaning of life? Did a comet really kill all the dinosaurs or was it all just a part of evolution?

I need a drink.

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