|Reports: Patriots eye possible return of bonus paid to Jonathan Fanene||03.14.13 at 3:34 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Patriots have won an appeal that allows them the right to challenge the $2.5 million they paid as part of a signing bonus to defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene.
Fanene, who was signed as a free agent last season, had health issues throughout the summer and struggled to stay on the field. He was released during training camp under the recently instituted “failure to disclose a physical condition” designation, and did not play at all in 2012. It remains to be seen if the Patriots will be able to apply that toward available cap space.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was first to report the news.
In other league news, the Vikings have signed former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, according to Jay Glazer. Cassel was released by the Chiefs on Thursday, and some speculated if the former backup to Tom Brady could return to New England if the Patriots were able to find a trade partner for current No. 2 signal caller Ryan Mallett. But that appears to be done, at least for now.
Cassel, whom the Chiefs obtained from the Patriots in 2009, struggled the last two years after a solid 2010 season. Last season he played nine games, completing 161 passes for 1,796 yards and six touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He also fumbled the ball nine times, losing seven. Cassel, 30, was due to earn $7.5 million in 2013, but he became expendable after the team acquired Alex Smith from the 49ers and signed Chase Daniel as a free agent.
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