In theory, another team could now claim Hernandez on waivers

AP

The Patriots decided they want nothing more to do with tight end Aaron Hernandez.

The next question is whether any of the other 31 NFL franchises will be inclined to take a chance on a player who, if/when his legal entanglements are resolved, could help a team win games.

Because Hernandez has not yet completed four years of service, he’ll be subject to waivers, with teams getting dibs in reverse order of how they finished in 2012.

For 2013, the financial risk is fairly minimal.  His salary is $1.323 million.

Of course, claiming Hernandez would mean bringing the NFL’s latest multi-ring circus to town, only weeks before training camp opens.  With the NFL quite possibly prepared to suspend Hernandez indefinitely after he is officially charged, adding Hernandez now may not mean actually putting him on the field this year, or ever.

The guaranteed nature of Hernandez’s base salaries for 2013 and 2014 also could deter a team from claiming his contract.  That said, acquiring his contract also would give the team standing to attack signing bonus money that the Patriots already have paid.  (That’s precisely what the Buccaneers did after trading several years ago for quarterback Jake Plummer, who abruptly retired.)

It would be a surprise if anyone else claims Hernandez.  But the various NFL teams are in many respects like snowflakes, and the desire to win games and compete for championships manifests itself in many ways.

All it takes is one team to decide to roll the dice.  While that remains unlikely, it’s not impossible.  And it would hardly be the strangest development of the past eight days.

40 responses to “In theory, another team could now claim Hernandez on waivers

  1. No way. I predict he’ll be charged with murder and won’t be given bail. His football career and life for that matter are done.

  2. How long before he clears waivers? Probably well before this is done. No way he gets claimed.

  3. No one will sign him because he’s obviously facing some serious charges. That’s why the Patriots releasing him was a no-brainer, not “the right thing to do.”

  4. As a Cowboys fan and no stake with the Patriots, thanks for cutting this dude. And for heavens sake please Jerry DO NOT sign this guy.

  5. The money is not the risk. The PR fallout is. And wouldn’t that take him of the Patriots books for the cap hit?

  6. Could the Patriots, hypothetically, let him clear waivers and then place him on the practice squad or will he need to sign a new contract for that? If he got put on the practice squad then they could technically go after his signing bonus for not showing up.

  7. Several years ago, Koren Robinson drove drunk to training camp at 100 mph and the Vikings released him. The Packers snatched him up immediately, even though they knew he was facing a one-year suspension. I’m not saying they’ll do something similar now, but Jermichael Finley does drop a lot of passes…

  8. I applaud the Pats for cutting him, even with the Hit against the cap they will take. Maybe that should be something the owners need to address in the next CBA, cap relief when cutting players who violate the conduct clause. It would allow teams to cut bait a lot quicker and be able to make the point to the players, you screw up, the gravy train is done.

  9. Picking up Hernandez on waivers now would be a P.R. nightmare. Especially if Hernandez is charged with murder.

    Not going to happen.

  10. Go get him Bears! He’ll spend his 5-10 years for concealing or tampering with evidence. With time off for good behavior, he’ll be out in time to break in a new quarterback!

  11. I have a much better chance of getting claimed today than Hernandez does.

    He is radioactive right now, even if Goddell hasn’t handed down a closed doors ‘DO NOT CLAIM/SIGN’ edict already, there is not a single team foolish enough to claim him from a PR nightmare, incurring the wrath of the league office, etc.

    All for a player who will surely be suspended for this entire season at minimum regardless of what the charges are.

  12. Yeah I’d take a chance and exercise the option unless there’s a good reason not to. I think it’s a good shot to stash him and dump him off on somebody else later and you can keep him inactive for quite a while. He might roll on his buddies and achieve some kind of police-sponsored absolution of any wrongdoing in exchange for that and that opens the door for his stock to rise and the waiver-claimed team to pick up an easy margin.

    First, call Bob Kraft and ask hey what’s up with this guy, what do you know? And if you don’t get anything then it’s time to do your own investigation and find out what risks are potentially at stake beyond what the internets have reported.

    If you are the other 31 teams you are obligated in terms of responsibility to complete a homework assignment because of this release. It’s a pop-evaluation. It may not be pretty or fun to think of the idea of bringing this guy to your team, but it’s a well-calculated play if done carefully and a powerful value if you can get a conversion out of it while keeping the liabilities super low from exceptional oversight of the situation.

  13. It would be a PR nightmare for sure, but might be worth it for a team to claim him. If Vick and Ray Lewis can come back from jail to be starters, why not Hernandez(if he only faces the obstruction charges of course) Teams waste 1.3 million on a lot less talent than Hernandez has. Not saying that Hernandez deserves another chance or anything, but America has a tendency to forgive and forget rather quickly when it comes to celebrities/athletes, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him starting again eventually.

  14. If Tannenbaum were still the J-E-T-S GM, the claim would have already been submitted.

  15. Goodell won’t issue a “Don’t claim this guy” order. He’ll watch and see if anyone does then that team is on double secret probation. Plus packers suck.

  16. The NFL is like the SEC, but with a salary cap. As with the SEC, the players don’t have to go to class. The teams will sign anyone who can help them including those who commit crimes such as gangbangers, assault, rape, theft, drug dealing, multiple failed drug tests, etc.

  17. the Patriots cut him because of the PR nightmare it would make for them by this association and I think most sports franchises would feel the same. Even if this was Tom Brady, no one takes the chance, especially AFTER the arrest.

  18. damnsureis says:
    Jun 26, 2013 12:09 PM
    Could the Patriots, hypothetically, let him clear waivers and then place him on the practice squad or will he need to sign a new contract for that? If he got put on the practice squad then they could technically go after his signing bonus for not showing up.

    He has played in too many games to be eligible for the practice squad. Once they released him, they lost ALL rights to him. They had the chance to go after his signing bonus, but they would have had to keep him on the roster to do so. Now that he is released, they are out of luck.

  19. I would not be shocked if a team did claim him, because he is dynamic on the field, but his contract will likely deter them.

    Teams take chances all of the time on guys that may never pay off, because there is virtually no penalty for it.

    They might also claim him so they could gain the rights to go after bonus money the Patriots paid him. (The Bucs did that with Jake Plummer who retired before playing for them)

    I would rather him rot in jail (Patriots fan…) and eat the cap penalty than see him even have a glimmer of hope… though.

  20. No team will get him unlessen All the charges gets dropped! The DA is piling up charges against him. The DA isn’t given him 1 break!!

  21. This the Giants’ chance to get back at the Patriots’ for “unethically” claiming Jake Ballard a couple of years ago. (How’s that move looking now?)

    Or the Ravens could claim him. Because, you know, they like murderers.

  22. Hmmm… when was the last time that a high profile player was involved in a murder and was able to get just “obstruction of justice”? What team was that?

    Hellooooo Ravens.

  23. Is this supposed to be funny? He killed his friend. He’s not playing anywhere. Don’t compare him to Ray Lewis. A) Ray didn’t kill anyone. B) Ray was the best player ever. C) Hernandez is over-rated. D) Kraft and the coach is a cheat. E) The Patriots suck anyway. F) Maybe Timmy Tebow can save them. G) Maybe the Refs will throw flags against the Patsies. H) It will prove what a fake Tammy Brady is.

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