The settlement plan, committed to by attorneys in a Montgomery County Circuit Court hearing this month, calls for the debt to be trimmed to about $1.3 million if the $100,000 payment goes through.
“He’s got to come up with something,” said Daniel Wright, an attorney for the business executives whose core business — aside from the Vick venture — is tied to the complicated and sometimes controversial world of “structured settlement” purchases.
In court filings leading up to the hearing, an attorney for Vick blasted the “egregious” terms of the deal, which included late-fee penalties of $5,000 a day. Wright had responded by saying that Vick knew exactly what he signed up for and ignored his obligations while living “a life of abundance,” replete with luxury cars and a Florida estate.
Vick could not be reached for comment for this story. His attorney in the Montgomery litigation declined to address specifics of the deal but made note of Vick’s history of paying off creditors.
“Mr. Vick is a stand-up gentleman who has always worked diligently to pay any lawful debt owed,” said the attorney, Tiffani Collins.
Vick has long captured attention — nationally and in the D.C. area.
He grew up as a football prodigy in Newport News, Va., going on to star at Virginia Tech, and became the first player chosen in the 2001 NFL draft. He signed a $62 million contract to play professionally for the Atlanta Falcons.
Six years later, he became famous for something else.
Authorities discovered a clandestine dogfighting compound in Virginia built by Vick and several longtime friends. He pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to 23 months in prison. Soon his financial problems surfaced: Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while in prison, listing more than $17 million in debts. He agreed to sell off assets that included his stake in ventures such as a wine shop in Atlanta, a horse farm and a car-rental business, according to bankruptcy records.
Vick returned to professional football in remarkable fashion — starring for the Philadelphia Eagles and upsetting fans of Washington’s football team.
On Nov. 15, 2010, in a game that would become known as the “Monday Night Massacre,” Vick threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more.
“One of the finest quarterback performances in recent history,” the Athletic wrote this month in a tribute to the contest.
After football, Vick pursued a range of ventures.
He helped the Humane Society of the United States lobby for federal legislation that made it a crime to attend an animal fight. He became the offensive coordinator for a football team — the Atlanta Legends — that was part of an upstart professional league. He was hired by Fox Sports and became an on-air analyst and football expert for “Fox NFL Kickoff,” a Sunday show that previews games.
But his financial troubles continued.
In 2018, working through a Bethesda middleman, Vick signed a deal tied to a company based in Oregon: NV Partners. The principals of that firm had for years put together deals between two entities: “Factoring companies,” which gave lump-sum payments to people in exchange for scheduled payments they were to receive from personal injury lawsuits, and investors who wanted to profit from those revenue streams.
In Vick, NV Partners saw a way to branch out into a new and potentially lucrative market: retired and current professional athletes willing to sell future income streams for immediate cash.
Vick received a $400,000 lump-sum payment in exchange for agreeing to route up to three years of future earnings — from the coaching and TV analyst gigs — to NV Partners, according to Montgomery County Circuit Court records. The terms were stiff, which NV Partners said were commensurate with Vick’s risky financial history. Vick agreed to sign over nearly $800,000 in future earnings, according to the records.
“There was talk, with one of our affiliates, about making Vick the spokesman for this kind of deal,” NV Partners’ Jonathan Walker told The Washington Post last year.
That hardly happened.
Vick had $114,027 in earnings from his TV job directed to NV Partners, but then rerouted all payments back to himself, the firm alleged in court records. NV Partners said it received nothing from Vick’s coaching job, which ended when the Alliance of American Football cratered into Chapter 7 liquidation.
NV Partners took him to court, filing litigation in Montgomery County owing to the Bethesda-based location of the middleman, Atlantic Solutions. Specifically, according to court records, NV Partners exercised a confessed judgment agreement Vick had signed, claiming that he owed them $2.6 million in obligations, late penalties and attorneys’ fees.
On Nov. 14, 2019, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Steven G. Salant granted the judgment, though he shaved about $600,000 that was requested in attorneys’ fees. Salant ruled that Vick owed NV Partners $1.99 million, court records state.
Collins, Vick’s attorney, challenged the judgment, alleging in court papers that Vick was not properly served notice of the judgment and that the late fees were unfair.
“The purported liquidation penalty of $5,000 a day is egregious, unsupported by fact or law and constitutes an illegal and unenforceable penalty,” she wrote.
NV Partners countered that Vick knew what terms he signed off on for the $400,000.
“Following his receipt of the money,” its attorney wrote, “Vick immediately breached the agreement. It is evident from the timing of the breach that Vick had no intention of honoring it at the time that he signed it.”
The competing claims were to be heard in a Zoom videoconference call before Salant on Nov. 19.
“Late last night, very late” Wright said at the hearing’s outset, “the parties were able to reach an agreement.”
He then read the terms into the record.
Vick, who was not on the Zoom call, nor was he required to be, agreed to pay NV Partners $100,000 to $200,000 by March 1. Should he pay at least $100,000, his total obligation to NV Partners would be trimmed to about $1.3 million, according to the settlement terms.
Over the next four months, the parties will also “seek a mutually acceptable resolution of all outstanding payments owed by Mr. Vick to NV Partners,” Wright said in court, summarizing the settlement agreement.
“Right now, I am enjoying life as an analyst and trying to be the best that I can be,” Vick said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, adding, “We will see what is next but I am excited about what the future holds.”