NFLPA reportedly files grievances against Patriots on behalf of Aaron Hernandez, seeking millions
|10.16.13 at 10:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The NFLPA is demanding the Patriots pay accused murderer Aaron Hernandez millions of dollars from his five-year, $40 million contract.
According to the Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com, the NFL Players Association has filed two grievances this week against the team on behalf of Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd in June.
The union is seeking restitution of Hernandez’s 2013 base salary ($1.323 million), his 2014 salary ($1.137 million) and workout bonus ($500,000). The workout bonus had guarantee language attached in his original contract, and also for the final installment of his signing bonus worth $3.25 million.
Hernandez signed a five-year extension in August 2012 that was to keep him with the Pats through 2018. The extension had a total maximum value of $40 million, with a $12.5 million signing bonus. In August, the NFLPA had filed a grievance against the Patriots on behalf of Hernandez, seeking to collect $82,000 in workout bonuses.
Team president Jonathan Kraft told the team’s radio network in August that the team believes Hernandez is not owed workout bonus money because the player failed to meet the 90 percent participation requirement.
After filing the initial grievance this August, the union made its only public statement about the case, setting the groundwork for this week’s more substantial demand from the team.
“On behalf of all players, it is our responsibility to protect the rights in the collective bargaining agreement,” the union said in a statement. “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.”
A team can recover bonus money and avoid a cap hit if a player violates one of the league’s personal-conduct policies or defaults on contract language.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, speaking before his team’s annual pre-season gala, responded to the grievance.
“Simple: you can look at our history. We honor all of our contracts, and we expect the people who sign them to honor their part of their contract,” Kraft said.