On the same day he made his much-anticipated return to the NFL, Michael Vick was in a Virginia court. And this time the news was good for him.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Santoro on Thursday approved a plan for Vick to repay $20 million to his creditors and emerge from bankruptcy on the condition that the quarterback retain a personal financial planner to manage his future earnings with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Santoro says while Vick is "at the pinnacle of his profession," he has proven unable in the past to manage his finances. The plan was overwhelmingly approved in a ballot by the creditors.
Vick, 29, hustled away from the courthouse with his fiancee, Kijafa Frink, to catch a flight back to Philadelphia and make his debut with the Eagles in a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I'm happy it's over," Vick said. "I can move on with my life.
"I'm excited about the game," he said. Asked if he was nervous, he said, "Not at all."
The plan approved by Santoro was supported by all creditors or representatives in court, save for one creditor owed $13,000. It hinges on Vick liquidating an estimated $9 million in assets, including houses, boats and high-end sport utility vehicles. He would not have to pay creditors during the first year with the Eagles.
Future payments would depend on Vick's salary, with creditors receiving payments based on how much Vick earns. The Eagles have a $5.2 million option on Vick for next year, not including incentives.
Vick was released from federal custody July 20 after serving 18 months of a 23-month sentence for his role in running a dogfighting ring. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback hadn't played in an NFL game since Dec. 31, 2006, with the Atlanta Falcons.
Vick is eligible to play in the Eagles' final two preseason games but not in the regular season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he would consider Vick for full reinstatement by no later than Week 6 (Oct. 18-19).
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press