Well, that was quick.
The Eagles have decided to not to reduce the salary of defensive tackle Mike Patterson after his placement on the non-football illness list.
Patterson, who began the season on the non-football illness list after surgery to repair a tangle of blood vessels in his brain, had a provision in his contract that automatically reduces his pay for any week that he is on the NFI list. But the provision was implemented to protect the team in the event that Patterson couldn’t play due to the brain condition.
Since returning to the field, Patterson contracted viral pneumonia, which unlike the brain condition arguably was connected to practicing and playing in the elements.
“After a day of reflection, the Eagles and [G.M.] Howie Roseman decided to treat Mike like the high-character player that he is,” agent Peter Schaffer tells PFT. “They’re doing it because they believe that players who have done what Mike has done for the franchise should be rewarded. They always had Mike’s best interests at heart. So they renegotiated his contract to remove the provision that automatically dropped his pay.”
Schaffer emphasized that the outcome reflects not animosity between himself, the Eagles, and Patterson, but the existence of a strong working relationship that allowed the parties to find a solution when it otherwise appeared that the team’s hands were tied. The Eagles promptly sought and obtained league approval to revise the contract, allowing the Eagles to pay Patterson the extra $150,000 that otherwise would have been removed from his 2012 compensation over the final three weeks of the season.
It was the right thing to do, and it was wise for the parties to find a way to work it out. It’s also a positive sign that the Eagles have the kind of flexibility under Roseman that would keep them from clinging to an unreasonable position simply because the franchise doesn’t want to admit that perhaps there’s a better path.