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Commission award for Terrell Suggs’ late agent upheld

Terrell Suggs (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Terrell Suggs (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

A federal judge in Virginia has confirmed an arbitration award of more than $230,000 in commissions to the estate of a former agent for Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.

Gary Wichard negotiated a five-year contract extension for Suggs in July 2009, which included a $7.8 million option for the 2014 season that was picked up by the Ravens in March 2010. Wichard died in 2011; Suggs then signed with another agent, who renegotiated a new five-year contract that included a $12 million salary for the 2014 season. Under terms of the contract, Suggs still owed Wichard commissions under the contract Wichard negotiated.

Suggs voluntarily paid the commissions due on amounts received by him under the 2009 contract for the 2009 through 2012 NFL season, but failed to pay the amount owed to the estate for the 2013 season. The estate and Suggs filed grievances with the Players Association, whose rules require arbitration.

An arbitrator ruled in 2014 that Suggs had to pay the estate $172,800, a decision upheld by a federal judge. After Suggs did not pay, the estate filed a second grievance, and an arbitrator awarded the estate $234,800 in commissions.

A federal judge earlier this month upheld the second arbitrator’s decision and tacked on more than $7,000 in prejudgement interest.

The case is Wichard v. Suggs, 1:15-cv-01722-JCC-TCB. News of the ruling was first reported by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, a sister publication of The Daily Record.

Suggs separately filed suit against Wichard’s wife in October in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, claiming she continued to accept payments made by Suggs but shut down Wichard’s business without telling Suggs and his other clients. That case was voluntarily dismissed two weeks after it was filed, according to court records.