Former Eagles G.M. Tom Heckert saw fit to sign former Eagles cornerback Dmitri Patterson to a one-year deal in 2011, and then to a three-year deal in 2012.
The fact that former Eagles president and new Browns CEO Joe Banner opted to send Patterson packing with more than $6 million in his pockets less than one year into his new contract could be the first tangible sign of a possible disconnect between Heckert and Banner.
Though there’s a chance Heckert and not Banner soured on Patterson, the reality is that Banner now calls the shots. With no final decisions made regarding whether Heckert will be back in 2013, Banner at least approved the decision as to whether Patterson, who was signed through 2014, would remain with the team.
And if Heckert didn’t agree with the decision to cut Patterson, it would be a sign that, even though he technically has and apparently wants to keep final say over the roster, he doesn’t actually possess those powers.
Then again, even if Heckert and Banner decided together that Patterson should go, the aftermath isn’t a ringing endorsement for the decision to sign the player to a three-year deal.
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Patterson received a $3 million signing bonus in March 2012, along with a $2.95 million base salary, fully guaranteed, this season. He also earned a $100,000 workout bonus, which pushed the total cash payout for 2012 over $6 million.
Patterson must clear waivers before becoming a free agent; a new team would get a two-week test drive before carrying a $4.5 million base salary in 2013.Regardless of what, if anything, the move means as to Heckert’s future, we reported over the weekend that, if Heckert is fired, the primary reason will be that Heckert and the Browns failed to do everything they could to move up from No. 4 in the draft to No. 2, which would have given the franchise its first franchise quarterback in decades — Robert Griffin III.