Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Terrell Suggs Ordered |to Pay His Late Agent

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - Baltimore Ravens star Terrell Suggs must pay his late agent's estate $234,800 in commissions on a 2009 contract that the volatile linebacker and his new agent renegotiated five years later.

Gary Wichard was Suggs's agent from January 2003 until Wichard's death on March 11, 2011.

In 2009, Wichard negotiated a five-year contract between Suggs and the Ravens that included an $7.8 million option for the 2014 season. The Ravens exercised that option in March 2010.

After Wichard's death, Suggs signed with a new agent, Joel Segal, who promptly negotiated a new contract for the veteran player.

In a complaint filed in the Alexandria, Va. Federal Court, Maire Wichard, the widow of Suggs' former agent, claims the star stopped paying owed commissions to the estate after her husband's death, and ignored a provision of the original contract that said should someone other than her husband renegotiated the 2009 deal, for more money, he'd still be entitled to his commission on the remainder of the old contract.

Wichard said she complained to the NFL Players Association, which an appointed an arbitrator, Roger Kaplan, to preside over mediation hearings with Suggs.

On Dec. 4, 2014, Kaplan ordered Suggs to pay Wichard's estate $172,800 for the 2013 season - which he did, but only after U.S. District Judge James Cacheris upheld the arbitration award, court documents say.

Kaplan again ruled in favor of Wichard's widow in a subsequent arbitration hearing over the 2014 deal, but Suggs refused to pay, she claims.

The linebacker did not respond to Wichard's latest lawsuit, however, and on Tuesday Cacheris awarded the widow the full $234,800, in addition to ten percent interest based on the prior decision.

Cacheris also said Tuesday that Suggs can no longer challenge Kaplan's arbitration decision, which the court holds to an "extremely deferential standard," according to the ruling.

"The obligation to pay contract advisor fees by Suggs was established by Wichard's successful negotiation of the NFL Player Contract on Suggs' behalf that ran through the 2014 NFL Season," Judge Cacheris wrote, quoting Kaplan.

Neither Suggs' attorney, Emily McLogan Gurskis, or his publicist, did not respond to an email from Courthouse News seeking comment.

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