Falcons will try to recoup signing bonuses from Vick

The Atlanta Falcons will attempt to reclaim $22 million in bonuses already paid to Michael Vick, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the team's plans.

Vick was suspended indefinitely from the National Football League on Friday, hours after he filed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in which he admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation. The suspension clears the way for the Falcons to pursue bonus payments already made to Vick.

However, Vick must remain on the Falcons' roster for the club to reclaim any money -- precluding the team from cutting ties with the quarterback until the matter is resolved, the person familiar with the situation told the newspaper.

If Atlanta receives the bonus money from Vick, it will be applied to the team's salary cap for the following season. If, for example, the team recouped all $22 milllion, that figure would be credited to the team for the 2008 salaray cap.

On Friday, Vick filed his plea agreement in federal court admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring and agreeing that the enterprise included killing pit bulls and gambling. He denied making side bets on the fights, but admitted to bankrolling them. He will appear in U.S. District Court on Monday in Richmond, Va. to formally enter his plea.


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