FanDuel - WFBC

December 04, 2010

MIchael Vick's Massive Financial Debt: Despite earning $4.1 million since signing with the Philadelphia Eagles Vick lives on a shoestring budget set for him by a court-appointed trustee. Two-thirds of every dollar Vick earns goes to creditors and taxes. The rest of the money is strictly controlled. Think of it as an allowance. Vick can spend $4,250 per month on rent and utilities and $472 per month on a car. His mother, who was on Vick's payroll during his headier, pre-prison days, can receive $2,500 per month. The allowance does allow for Vick to pay $1,355 per month for private school for the two children he has with his fiancee.

posted by billinnagoya to football at 05:57 AM - 28 comments

I calculate that Vick somehow has to get by on a little more than $100,000 per year. How many of you out there wish you were forced to live on such a tight shoestring?? I'm supporting a family of five on less, and we don't live bad.

posted by billinnagoya at 06:00 AM on December 04

lets all cry for him

posted by lleagle at 08:41 AM on December 04

That's more like a bootstring. Amirite ladies?

posted by NoMich at 08:57 AM on December 04

I think the point of the article is he's an NFL qb...one of the best in the league at the moment...and he's budgeted less for his car note than what I pay right now (although it's short lived...he'll be franchised for 14 mill next year which should pay off most of his debt)

Besides, that $ he's making is only for a few more years, if he stays healthy, and what he earned will have to last past that career since he hasn't got another one. And being an NFL player his life expectancy is some 15 years shorter than yours. And those shortened years will likely be spent in pain with numerous surguries in his future, so a good chunk of that $ will be going to medical expenses since the league does not take care of it's former players.

But feel free to criticize them for greed while you watch every Sunday as they destroy their bodies for your enjoyment.

posted by bdaddy at 10:09 AM on December 04

Despite Vick's flashy moves on the field escaping defenders, he is still getting hit hard. At least Andy Reid and Vick think so.

posted by roberts at 11:15 AM on December 04

B, you're going to have to explain to me why I can't criticize Michael Vick for greed. Did he not, in fact, get himself into this mess in the first place? He sure wasn't spending it all on dog food.

I wonder why some athletes don't sign up for this program in the first place.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:39 AM on December 04

While there may be many reasons to criticize Vick, I'm not sure greed is one of them.

posted by Ricardo at 11:57 AM on December 04

Well said, bdaddy.

posted by bperk at 11:58 AM on December 04

Vick got himself in this mess, so he has no one but himself to blame.

That being said, it worth pointing out that Vick did have the option to go for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which would have wiped out more of his debt. Instead, he is trying to make good on all of his debts.

If he gets the contract, that he likely will, at the of this season, he'll be doing just fine. As for now, the $100K that billinnagoya calculates is actually a bit low as that's after taxes, and doesn't include $3000 that he is paying the mother of his first son. No tears for the man from me, but I am glad he's trying to pay off the debt instead of stiffing everyone.

posted by dviking at 12:02 PM on December 04

Never been in Vick's situation myself, but after what he's done and what he's gone through, I have to give him credit for getting up every morning and facing reality with some determination.

He's trying to do his best to help his team and become a better player than he was in his first NFL incarnation, knowing that he's gonna get beat up on game day, that there are things that he will never be able to undo or make right, that there's a ton of hate out there that will never go away, and that in the context of the overall economic picture of his locker room, he's getting paid very short money for his hard work. The chances of suffering a career-ending injury on any play don't go down just because you're earning less.

In the face of a lot of negativity and in the absence of immediate rewards, the determination he's exhibiting is coming from a deeper place. As dviking said, giving up and walking away from the mess would have been a lot easier than the course he has embarked on.

And if he has complained about his current situation, I'm not aware of it.

Every time I think of a guy like Randy Moss acting out and taking plays off when he feels like it, I respect the effort that Vick is making a little more.

posted by beaverboard at 12:49 PM on December 04

Despite Vick's flashy moves on the field escaping defenders, he is still getting hit hard. At least Andy Reid and Vick think so.

I think the way the NFL protects quarterbacks when they scramble past the line of scrimmage is ridiculous. If they are going to run with the ball they should be treated as a runner.

I haven't watched enough Eagles games to comment on Reid's criticism of the officials, but my level of sympathy is low.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:21 PM on December 04

So Michael Vick is living on a little less than what I made in my last few years of employment as an engineer. On my salary I was able to put away enough that I could live comfortably on a pension and social security and the return on my investments, put a kid through Penn State, own and maintain a house, own and operate 3 cars, and not exactly starve to death. I'm lucky as hell that I was able to get the education required to do this, and that I worked hard enough to keep the jobs that I had. In other words, I'm not weeping for Michael Vick. I do not say this out of any sense of envy at him. He deserves what he has been able to earn, but since he made a mistake in his personal life, he has been forced to pay the penalties.

I hope that Michael Vick might see that having to live on a budget is a really good thing. Perhaps he will find that doing so has taught him to be a bit more frugal, and that when the debts are finally paid, he will continue to live well within his means. If Vick is like many other professional athletes, he will give much of his time and fortune to charity work. Good for him if he does. He could set the example for those who come into sudden fortune through their athletic prowess, and teach them how to live well but without excess.

By the way, $472 per month will buy a $30,000 vehicle, assuming a 6% interest rate. The loan would be paid off in about 56 months.

posted by Howard_T at 02:29 PM on December 04

I don't see why any outrage is warranted. It's part of the punishment he earned, he gets a easily livable wage that's temporary for another year or so, his family isn't punished along with him, his creditors are getting their money back, and Vick has ample motivation to stay on top of his game. He's a QB, so while I can see Bdaddy's argument, he isn't necessarily in the peril that the lineman and dbacks find themselves in.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:46 PM on December 04

Well he's not in the peril of the lineman, for sure..as they have clinical obesity to face as well...but I guarantee he takes a lot more physical punishment than DBs. Other qbs maybe not, but him personally, I believe he's due for a very painful future.

And YYM, I don't see the refs protect scrambling qbs much..once they're out of the pocket, those not named Brady or manning are free game (as we know, those guys play by different rules)

posted by bdaddy at 03:49 PM on December 04

Bdaddy, you seem to miss my point, no doubt because it was inarticulately expressed. What I wished to highlight by posting this article is the warped sense of what constitutes a reasonable (and responsible) standard of living and an equally warped sense of entitlement that often accompanies such wealth.

Professional athletes like Michael Vicks (and we don't have to limit the conversation to athletes--entertainers, CEOs, socialites can just as easily be substituted) receive extraordinary--I would say obscene--amounts of money, far more than you, I or the vast majority of people are likely to see in several working lifetimes. Yet all too often they are unable to manage it responsibly, wasting it on ostentatious living. And that sense of entitlement to such a lifestyle seems often to carry over even after the money is gone. For example, even now, when he is supposed to be in such dire financial straits and living on a shoestring budget, Vicks still requires $4,250 per month for housing expenses. He could have very comfortable living arrangements for far less than that.

The $100+k I mentioned in the original post was a quick calculation of the items mentioned in his budget. In fact the article implies Vick still has in excess of $1 million (post-tax) available to him. (75 cents of every dollar goes to debt servicing AND TAXES, leaving more than $1 million--which is more than 10 years pretax wages for me.) Even at his present level of income (and debt servicing) in 4 years he will have a post tax income in excess of my entire pretax working career.

Yes, longevity is an issue, but one 3-year, $10 million per year contract would add up to 300 working years for me. Surely these guys, if they behaved responsibly, should be able to somehow get by.

As for the question of injury and consequential shorter life span, isn't that the choice they make? Seeing the riches they can obtain immediately, they take a calculated risk with their health and long-life for material gain now. I wouldn't make that trade, but that is my choice.

And, by the way, I rarely watch football, so they are not destroying their bodies on a weekly basis for my entertainment--someone else's for sure, but not mine.

posted by billinnagoya at 06:42 PM on December 04

I think you missed economics 101...people spend what they make. If a person makes $50k/year..he's going to have expenses that range in that realm. If a person makes $1 million/year...he's going to have expenses that range in that realm.

By your math ($30mi = 300 working years for you), I'll assume you make close to $100,000/year. Were you aware there were single mothers supporting 3 kids on their $15,000/year? Those women might think your sense of what is a reasonable/responsible standard of living is warped. They may look at the fact that you spend $1500/month on your mortgage as "obscene". They may look at that and say "I could live 20 years comfortably on what he makes in 3!?" In 4 years you'll make a post tax income in excess of what they make their entire working career. They may think you haggling with your boss for a 5% raise with the amount of money your making as greedy as you think a player haggling for an extra million to his contract is.

It's all relative, is all I'm saying.

posted by bdaddy at 07:32 PM on December 04

I think you missed economics 101...people spend what they make. If a person makes $50k/year..he's going to have expenses that range in that realm. If a person makes $1 million/year...he's going to have expenses that range in that realm.

So in your world, no one saves for a rainy day or has the forethought to perhaps not spend every dime they make?

I don't think Bill missed Economics 101 so much as you've been studying at the George W. Bush School of Spend It To Stop The Terrorists.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:50 PM on December 04

I think you missed economics 101...

I don't think I missed EC101. Rather, I don't agree with your starting assumption that everyone--or even most people--automatically spend up to the limit of their means. (However, I could be wrong about that.)

Most people around me live rather modestly and well within their means, and they seem, like me, to be planning ahead for such things as their children's education and their retirement. Or, and I will admit they are extremely rare, there are people like the Canadian couple that won $11 million in the lottery and gave it all away to charity because, to paraphrase, they already had everything they needed. Or Bill Gates, who has left the vast bulk of his fortune to charity, establishing a "mere" $10 million trust fund for each of his children, reasoning that this amount should be sufficient to see them through a comfortable life.

Yes, there are plenty of single mothers getting by on a pittance who might find my relative level of comfort "obscene" (my word; not yours). And what, then, must they think of the Michael Vicks of the world--or better yet, the likes of Latrell Sprewell who was outraged a few years ago by a $27-30 million, 3 year offer because it was insufficient to feed his family? (Most assuredly a poor rhetoric choice I image he regrets to this day ever making.)

Yes, I will agree that in some ways the issue is relative, but I've never been a fan of relativism. It is too convenient and simplistic a way of justifying poor, selfish, or irresponsible choices. (And none of this means that I am grudging the athletes their due; surely they, rather than the owners, are the ones who go out and generate the revenue with their sweat and talent and are thererfore deserving of a greater share.)

And on that note, I bid you a good night. We can agree to disagree.

posted by billinnagoya at 01:19 AM on December 05

I just don't get the connection between living within your means and Vick. What evidence is there that he wasn't? Who are these people who would not have financial difficulties if they unexpectedly lost their salary for two years and started working again at a much lower salary?

posted by bperk at 09:03 AM on December 05

What evidence is there that he wasn't?

His creditors didn't just appear out of nowhere.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:39 PM on December 05

The emergence of his creditors is based on the cancelling of his $100+ million contract with the Falcons. He had borrowed against the future returns on that. Not uncommon at all.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:19 PM on December 05

I don't think I missed EC101. Rather, I don't agree with your starting assumption that everyone--or even most people--automatically spend up to the limit of their means. (However, I could be wrong about that.)

i think you ARE wrong...I didn't make that up and wasn't making a snide comment..I literally learned that in economics 101...people spend what they make. They even showed us a graph and everything.

posted by bdaddy at 09:17 PM on December 05

The emergence of his creditors is based on the cancelling of his $100+ million contract with the Falcons. He had borrowed against the future returns on that. Not uncommon at all.

Not uncommon, but still stupid. It wouldn't take too much foresight to have a look around the league and see how many players actually earn the full value of a contract.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:33 PM on December 05

He was clearly pretty stupid his first time around. Since then, he grew up a lot, and from his actions and words is less stupid now.

In that sense, he is a role model for the hundreds of millions of people who stupidly took on too much debt during times of promise and are just now realizing the error of their ways.

Short-term thinking isn't just confined to governments, banks, businesses, schools, voters, builders, doctors, most of the rest of American society, and Dan Snyder. Foresight is rare, as is hindsight in action. Seems like Vick is doing something about quite a few of his self-inflicted problems.

Michael Vick sets a good example.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:01 AM on December 06

It wouldn't take too much foresight to have a look around the league and see how many players actually earn the full value of a contract.

Even if he planned for a career-ending injury, he didn't plan for losing every other drop of income. He had to pay the Falcons back bonus money, and he lost every sponsor. This is not the kind of thing a financial planner would (or could) plan for.

posted by bperk at 07:10 AM on December 06

Michael Vick sets a good example.

There's a sentence I did not expect to read this morning.

posted by tommytrump at 09:45 AM on December 06

This is not the kind of thing a financial planner would (or could) plan for.

The 'I got caught running a dog-fighting ring in my back yard scenario' isn't covered until Econ 305.

posted by tron7 at 10:27 AM on December 06

Sorry, as it would appear the majority of his creditors are as a result of him having to return $20MM of his $37MM bonus.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:24 PM on December 06

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