Jailed quarterback Michael Vick can keep all but $3.75-million of the nearly $20-million in bonus money he received from the Falcons after a ruling Monday by a federal judge.
The Falcons sought to recover the bonuses after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operation. The bonuses were paid from 2004-07.
A special master ruled in October the Falcons were entitled to recover the bonuses.
But U.S. District Judge David Doty of Minneapolis ruled that recovery of most of the bonus money by the Falcons would violate the league's collective bargaining agreement.
Vick received a 23-month jail sentence and entered a minimum-security prison in Leavenworth, Kan., last month. The league has suspended Vick indefinitely without pay.
"It makes no sense that an individual who willfully violates his contract is entitled to be paid tens of millions of dollars even though he is in jail and providing no services whatsoever to his employer," league spokesman Greg Aiello said.
Vick's personal attorney, Lawrence Woodward Jr., said Vick was happy but understands there could be appeals.
PRO BOWL: Tom Brady and Randy Moss pulled out of the event, a day after their Patriots lost the Super Bowl.
After throwing a league-record 50 touchdowns this season, Brady was battered by the Giants on Sunday. He has been bothered by a tender ankle and was photographed in New York wearing a protective boot two weeks prior to the Super Bowl.
Brady, who first injured his ankle against San Diego in the AFC Championship Game, will be replaced by Browns quarterback Derek Anderson.
Moss, who caught a record 23 TD passes from Brady during the season, will be replaced by disgruntled Bengals receiver Chad Johnson.
The Patriots said Moss also opted out with an ankle injury.
San Diego tight end Antonio Gates and defensive tackle Jamal Williams also decided to skip the All-Star game on Feb.10 in Honolulu. Another Browns player, Kellen Winslow, replaces Gates.
Also, Johnson's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the receiver has no plans to sit out the 2008 season, contrary to an ESPN.com report.
DOLPHINS GET COORDINATOR: The Dolphins named Dan Henning as offensive coordinator; he joins the staff more than a quarter-century after his first stint with the team. Henning, 65, was the coach in Atlanta (1983-86) and San Diego (1989-91) and was Miami's quarterbacks and receivers coach in 1979-80 under Don Shula.
PANTHERS: Defensive end Mike Rucker, who spent more than a month contemplating his future, said he plans to return. Rucker, who turns 33 on Feb.28, becomes an unrestricted free agent the next day.
REDSKINS: Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnulo told ESPN.com that he did not plan to interview for the coaching job Monday but would do so either today or Wednesday.