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Dexter Manley Gets Super Bowl Ring Held in John O’Quinn’s Safe Deposit Box

Posted Feb 5, 2010 8:54 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Lawyer John O’Quinn hired Dexter Manley in 1998 and paid $15,000 a year later to retrieve the former football player’s Super Bowl Ring.

After O’Quinn’s death, Manley got his ring back, the Washington Post reports. O'Quinn had held the ring in a safe deposit box with explicit instructions it not be returned unless Manley had overcome his addictions.

Manley had sold the ring to a pawn shop for drug money, and O'Quinn feared it would happen again.

O’Quinn had hired Manley as a researcher in 1998 and gave the ex-Redskins player an office on the firm’s main floor, the Washington Post says. The plaintiffs lawyer initially gave the ring back to Manley after retrieving it in 1999. But Manley, a recovering addict, asked O’Quinn to hold onto the ring for safekeeping.

"I didn't want to pawn it again," Manley told the Post. "See, in order to know your history, you got to know yourself. I knew myself enough to know someone else needed to have that ring then."

Manley later moved back to Washington, D.C. Over the years, Manley said, he asked O’Quinn about the ring, but the lawyer lied about its whereabouts and didn’t give it back.

After O’Quinn died in a car crash last October, Manley called the executor of O’Quinn’s estate, Gerald Treece, and learned the ring was placed in a safe deposit box, with instructions about its return. Manley’s wife, Lydia, says her husband hasn’t had a relapse since 2006. Treece decided that Manley will get his ring.

Treece, an associate dean at the Southwest Texas College of Law, was O’Quinn’s best friend and a former partner in his law firm.

"John loved Dexter and believed in him," Treece told the Post. "A lot of people don't know this, but he was fighting his own monster at the time. Alcoholism almost got him, but he wouldn't let it. He understood Dexter's fight for sobriety and the destructive things the disease made you do."

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