The disgraced quarterback lost the first round in his financial battle with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, when an arbitrator ruled that Vick should repay just over half the bonus money he got while secretly bankrolling the long-running dogfighting operation.
The case is far from over. The NFL Players Association said it would appeal the ruling by Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, who oversaw the arbitration hearing in Philadelphia.
The Falcons argued that Vick, who pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges, knew he was in violation of the contract when he signed a 10-year, $130 million deal in December 2004.
The team said he had used proceeds from the contract to fund his illicit activities and sought the repayment of $19.97 million in bonuses he was paid over the past three years.