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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; MEXICO HAD A CHANCE TO SETTLE Falcons quarterback Mike Vick a/k/a Ron Mexico had a chance to buy his way out of the lawsuit he currently faces for allegedly giving a female acquaintance the gift that keeps on giving. Per ...

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Old 04-18-2005, 09:04 PM   #1
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Falcons quarterback Mike Vick a/k/a Ron Mexico had a chance to buy his way out of the lawsuit he currently faces for allegedly giving a female acquaintance the gift that keeps on giving.

Per a league insider, the price tag for settlement was $500,000 before suit was filed. Hardly chump change, but a drop in the bucket given Vick's overall worth -- and given the impact that the litigation might have on his marketability (for all products except condoms, Valtrex, and Taco Bell).

We're told that the current price tag to make the problem go away is a whopping $3.5 million.

(We're also hearing that the plaintiff has gone through three or four lawyers, which suggests that there's some sort of a problem here. But, frankly, it could be any number of things, including the fact that her prior lawyers had signed on only to try to settle the case, and not to go to the mat with it.)

The decision to file the lawsuit not long before expiration of the two-year statute of limitations is a strong hint that the plaintiff's lawyer tried to get the case settled without litigation, with talks possibly stretching over more than several months prior to the poop-or-get-off-the-pot deadline for going to court.

In hindsight, it's safe to say that Vick should've settled when he had the chance, if there's any potential merit to the case.

And if the claim is bogus, Vick should have pulled a Bill O'Reilly and sued her first for extortion and/or for a declaration by the court that he has not violated any of her legal rights.

Meanwhile, Vick, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and Atlanta G.M. Rich McKay made their first public comments on Saturday regarding the lawsuit, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Blank, who attended a Falcons Youth Summit at which Mr. Mexico spoke (or did the hat dance or something), said that he's "disappointed" the lawsuit against the guy who has become the cornerstone of the franchise.

"When things come up, as they do with players, are we disappointed? The answer is we are," Blank said. "When a player develops an issue, whether something at home . . . or he does something that ends up in the newspaper, it brings pain to me."

But McKay made it clear that the organization's disappointment does not apply to Speedy Gonzalez specifically, but to the situation. "Are we disappointed in Michael? No. Are we disappointed that any player shows up in the paper for anything other than football or charitable work? Yes," McKay said. "By the same token, because of the high profile of players, specifically Michael, it's going to happen.

"He's like a rock star," McKay added. "The lead singer can't go to the grocery store. You've got to learn to manage that. It's not that we should feel sorry for those people; we don't. I don't feel sorry for [U2 lead singer] Bono. But when you're 22, it's hard."

Vick, who should be saying nothing at all regarding the situation since anything he says can and will be used against him, offered this quote to The AJC: "I guess the more success you get, the more money, the more problems. It's all good. I'm all right. Things happen. I'll make it through."

As one league insider posed to us on Sunday night, "What the f--k does that have to do with anything?"

We agree. It's not like Vick got ripped off by a financial adviser or had his crib burned down by a crazy girlfriend. He's accused of giving herpes to someone, and the claim is off the mark -- or it isn't.

There's no middle ground. Either Vick accepts responsibility for his actions, or he's being shaken down. And if he's being shaken down he should be on the offensive (e.g., via a definitive statement that he doesn't have herpes). And since he's not on the offensive we can only assume that there's enough merit to this thing to permit a reasonable jury to come to the conclusion that he's liable.

And if that's the case, he definitely should have bought his way out of it when he had the chance to do it for an amount that equates to only 1.4 percent of his total bonus money on his 2004 contract extension, and a paltry 0.4 percent of the total value of that ten-year extension.

Even now, the $3.5 million demand is less than 2.7 percent of the total value of his contract. Notwithstanding the fact that we'd love to see how this one plays out, Vick would be wise to get this worked out -- and our guess is that through negotiation he could make it go away for $1.3 million or so.

But pride and ego often get in the way of logic and common sense at these early stages of the process, when the term "frivolous lawsuit" generally can be defined to mean "the lawsuit filed against you." The fact that Vick already spurned a potential settlement suggests that this thing will have to develop for several months, at a minimum, before Vick realizes that he's had enough, and that it's time to bring it to an end.

By then, our guess is that he'll play close to $2 million to make it happen -- and his image likely will have suffered far greater harm.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:55 PM   #2
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...or he could go to trial, have a test, and come up totally clean...
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