Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez says he only failed one drug test in college, despite reports to the contrary.
Whatever the truth is, Hernandez’s off-field problems cost him in terms of 2010 pay. The details of his four-year contract are eye-opening. Albert Breer of the Boston Globe writes that Hernandez only received a $200,000 signing bonus, $308,000 less than Bears defensive end Corey Wooten, taken four spots in front of him.
Hernandez can make that money back and then some in the form of roster bonuses if he makes the team in 2011, 2012, and 2013. So Hernandez will be fine if he stays out of trouble and performs well.
But there’s a reason you don’t see many rookie deals like this. It doesn’t contain a lot of security. It makes us wonder if something like a failed test or placement in the league’s substance abuse program is already at play here. After all, the Patriots knew Hernandez’s history when they drafted him.
He paid for that history once with falling draft stock, and just paid for it again.