NFLPA files grievance on behalf of Aaron Hernandez to recoup $82,000 from Patriots
|08.27.13 at 1:06 am ET|
The NFL Players Association has come to the defense of Aaron Hernandez, at least with regard to money the organization claims he is owed.
The NFLPA on Monday filed a grievance on behalf of the former Patriots tight end in an attempt to force the team to pay $82,000 in offseason workout bonuses.
On June 26, the day he was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in the murder of acquaintance and former semi-pro linebacker Odin Lloyd, the Patriots cut Hernandez and terminated his contract. Last week, a grand jury indicted Hernandez for the murder, moving the case toward a trial. Hernandez is being held without bond in the Bristol County jail after pleading not guilty to the murder and multiple weapons chargers.
Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension in 2012. That extension included standard bonuses for offseason workouts. He earned $82,000 in bonus money for attending offseason activities with the Patriots from April to June while recovering from shoulder surgery. Those bonuses had not been paid when Hernandez was arrested and his contract terminated.
Hernandez’s contract with the Patriots included $12.5 million guaranteed. Of that guaranteed money, $9.5 million has already been paid. The Patriots voided future guarantees on the contact, even though $1.137 million of his $2.5 million salary for 2013 became guaranteed on March 17.
Hernandez’s contract also included $3.25 million in deferred signing bonus to be paid in March 2014, money Hernandez and his representatives could claim he’s also owed.
“On behalf of all players, it is our responsibility to protect the rights in the collective bargaining agreement. We are not tone deaf to what the allegations are in this case, but for the benefit of all players, there are important precedents here we must protect,” the NFLPA said in a statement Monday afternoon.