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Fanene bonus hearing set for July 22, 23

Jonathan Fanene, Kellen Clemens AP

A $3.85 million question will be resolved next month.

Last year, the Patriots signed defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene.  He received a $3.85 million signing bonus, $2.5 million of which already has been paid.

The Patriots later cut him, claiming that he had failed to disclose a physical condition when he was signed.  A fight under the labor deal resulted in a ruling that the team’s effort to recoup “some or all” of the signing bonus may proceed.

And proceed it will on July 22 and 23, according to Nick Underhill of MassLive.com.

On those days, a hearing will be held.  Pre-hearing depositions (i.e., sworn testimony) have been conducted, with coach Bill Belichick among the witnesses.  (If he hates press conferences, he’ll love depositions.)

Court documents, per Underhill, indicate that the Patriots allege Fanene has arthritis in his left knee, and that he hid from the team the fact that needs prescription drugs to practice and play.  A source familiar with the case tells Underhill that the Patriots will have to prove that Fanene was self-medicating without their knowledge to win.

This suggests that, if the Patriots were giving him the medication during offseason workouts and training camp, they essentially ratified the contract, accepting him for whatever condition he has.  (Unless, of course, it was diabetes.)

Either way, some or all of a big chunk of money is riding on the outcome.

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15 Responses to “Fanene bonus hearing set for July 22, 23”
  1. deliveredbysherpa says: Jun 5, 2013 2:54 PM

    Not that exciting, but it could be big for the Patriots to have more room. If not before the season, then at the trading deadline.

  2. len462 says: Jun 5, 2013 3:07 PM

    I just looked at his stats. Why the heck would they spend that kind of money on him in the first place?

  3. malachiofcourse says: Jun 5, 2013 3:18 PM

    i’d just take my 2.5 mil and leave the country, be a king in mexico if i were him

  4. Patskrieg dot com says: Jun 5, 2013 3:32 PM

    At least now we might actually get an answer as to how Fanene passed his physical with a knee condition.

    It’s a year later and I’m still mad about this guy.

  5. zimaman says: Jun 5, 2013 3:58 PM

    its big money to Fanene because he has some already and gets to keep it rather than give it up

    its worth it too Kraft to go after it if they are in the right. if they lose it in reality its a drop in the bucket to them. 2.5 million to them, or the Cowboys or any other top money making team is nothing. Its like me losing $100 playing black jack. would I like to win it back – yes but it aint the end of the world if I don’t.

  6. justsomerandomguy24 says: Jun 5, 2013 4:01 PM

    I tend to believe the Pats on this one– they spent a lot of money on the guy, cut him almost immediately, and he didn’t even try to catch on anywhere else.

  7. patriots123456 says: Jun 5, 2013 4:30 PM

    This happened a year ago, so it shouldn’t effect this years salary cap IMO.

    Will be interesting to watch what transpires.

  8. sparky151 says: Jun 5, 2013 4:41 PM

    The Pats don’t have a case. He passed their physical, ie was cleared by doctors of the team’s choosing. He may well have an arthritic knee which he lied about to the team to get them to sign a contract. That doesn’t matter any more than a coach or GM’s promises to a player about his role with a team. Fanene showed up to play and the team cut him so they don’t get their money back. If they didn’t think he could play they shouldn’t have signed him.

    The Bengals signed Antonio Bryant a few years ago knowing he had had knee problems. He passed the physical, went out to practice, and came up lame, never playing a down for the team after getting a 7 mil signing bonus. The team didn’t try to recoup the bonus, they just fired the doctors who passed him on the physical.

  9. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 5, 2013 4:52 PM

    “zimaman says:

    its worth it to Kraft to go after it if they are in the right. if they lose it in reality its a drop in the bucket to them. 2.5 million to them, or the Cowboys or any other top money making team is nothing. Its like me losing $100 playing black jack. would I like to win it back – yes but it aint the end of the world if I don’t.”
    _______________________________________________

    I think its probably more because it represents 2.5 million of cap space at some point in the process, and that lets them sign a good player at need.

  10. florioruserious13 says: Jun 5, 2013 4:57 PM

    It’s not big money. That’s money that they spent out of their salary cap.

    Or am I incorrect that signing bonus money is not part of the salary cap?

    If so, 2.5 Million paid is right up there in the money they just paid BOYCE in his rookie contract. SOOO it is ‘big’ money. It represents money that could be paid to keep, retain, or sign new players FAs or rookies. (knowing that they have signed most of their rookies at this point). I would assume they want that 2.5 million back since they need to sign a number of players that have expiring contracts following the 2013.

    Also. He lied or withheld vital medical information. In the end he was not upfront.

    They already had one knucklehead that “needed” painkillers to play in Nick Kaczur. I doubt they needed the headache of another.

    If I am incorrect I welcome the insight on signing bonuses and salary cap space.

  11. shovelhunter says: Jun 5, 2013 4:58 PM

    Its a shame. Fanene can play the run and rush the passer equally well. U may have seen his stats but to understand what I’m saying look at his snaps

  12. getweird4u says: Jun 5, 2013 8:56 PM

    One aspect of this no one is mentioning is the fact that future free agents may be likely to get on with another team over the pats if they are going to nickle and dime guys after they passed a team physical.

  13. samoanjungle says: Jun 5, 2013 9:41 PM

    He played fine for the Bengals the year before, arthritic knee or not. Actually had his best year. I think the Pats should have to prove that he couldn’t have played and knew it.

  14. bigbadal21 says: Jun 5, 2013 10:17 PM

    Sounds like sour Patriot grapes to me. If the Patriots get away with this the value of the players union should be questioned.

  15. jrcoop says: Jun 5, 2013 10:25 PM

    Keep it classy Patriots.

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