There wasn’t much odd about the football reasons behind the Patriots’ decision to part ways with defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene on Tuesday.
New England has seen several young linemen play well in the preseason while Fanene has been sidelined with a knee injury that ESPNBoston.com reports may require arthroscopic surgery. Such is life in the NFL.
What was odd is that the Patriots chose to cut him now when they gave him a $3.85 million signing bonus when he signed with the team in March. Such things usually buy you extra time, especially when there’s a cap hit in 2013 to follow. Asking Bill Belichick for some insight into the decision making process didn’t make things any clearer.
“It just didn’t work out. I don’t really think there’s much to add than that; it just didn’t work out,” Belichick said on a conference call with reporters.
According to Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio and Sports USA, there may be something more to add. Tucker reports that an NFL source passed along word that the Patriots cut Fanene under the failure to disclose physical condition designation, a move that would indicate that they are going after at least part of that signing bonus.
Tie that to the surgery report and the reason for the timing of the Fanene move becomes much clearer.