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Pats will take at least a $7.5 million cap charge for Hernandez in 2014

Aaron Hernandez AP

One of the obvious questions that arise in the aftermath of the Patriots’ decision to cut tight end Aaron Hernandez is the cap consequences, if any, for the move.

While it’s trivial in comparison to the fact that this all stems from the death of Odin Lloyd, it’s relevant information moving forward for the Patriots.

For 2013, the Patriots will carry a $2.5 million charge for the portion of his $12.5 million signing bonus, paid last year.  Hernandez’s base salary of $1.323 million is fully guaranteed, and so the cap number will remain $4.073 million unless and until the Patriots can finagle a way to avoid paying him.  (Chances are they’ll try.)

Because the move comes after June 1, the balance of the cap charge will apply to 2014.  That’s $7.5 million in signing bonus money, and possibly another $1.137 million in guaranteed salary.  That’s $8.637 million that the Patriots will carry for Hernandez next year.

The Patriots can, in theory, reduce that money by blocking the guaranteed payment(s) or recovering signing bonus money.  As to the bonus money, however, the Patriots have to recover it before they get the cap credit.  Also, the decision to release Hernandez could prevent them from getting a penny back in signing bonus money.

The broader question, which we’ll address separately, is that the Patriots made this move without caring about the financial or cap consequences.

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32 Responses to “Pats will take at least a $7.5 million cap charge for Hernandez in 2014”
  1. ninetysixer says: Jun 26, 2013 10:56 AM

    Ha, that’s less than Flacco’s cap hit!

  2. tydatank says: Jun 26, 2013 11:00 AM

    The Dolphin’s desires to overtake the division may not be so far fetched now. Patriots Offense is going to be much different, No Hernandez, a still hurting Gronk, and no Welker. Will still be good, but probably not going to be as nearly as affective as in the past.

  3. cbs1971 says: Jun 26, 2013 11:01 AM

    Speaking of money, Hernandez jerseys should be at least 90% off……..if not FREE!

  4. johnnyjagfan says: Jun 26, 2013 11:02 AM

    This decision was not one about money.

  5. ampats says: Jun 26, 2013 11:02 AM

    The Patriots showed they stand by their brand and would not allow any player to bring shame to the organization regardless of financial ramifications. Hate them or not, the Patriots showed the world what their organization stands for.

  6. pongonfl says: Jun 26, 2013 11:03 AM

    Its feeling like they took a Wes Welker hit too.

  7. getthegleam says: Jun 26, 2013 11:03 AM

    I’m guessing they know more than public in terms of what went on. I’d spin it as the right thing to do too.

  8. ninetysixer says: Jun 26, 2013 11:09 AM

    sorry, that is MORE than flacco’s cap hit

  9. 12thmanseattle says: Jun 26, 2013 11:09 AM

    I don’t get how every nfl contract doesn’t have an off field incident clause of some sort especially if they have character issues. A lot of these dummies would hopefully think twice before doing anything stupid if they knew their team could take certain money back or not have to pay them at all

  10. sschmiggles says: Jun 26, 2013 11:13 AM

    There won’t be a cap hit in 2014 if Goodell find that Hernandez violated the league conduct policy, which looks pretty certain at this point.

  11. bucckevin says: Jun 26, 2013 11:13 AM

    It was a saving face move. I’m sure some corporate sponsors would’ve wanted to pull out of any endorsement deals if he was still on the team.

  12. beerndrums says: Jun 26, 2013 11:15 AM

    I thought I was having a bad day but not like Hernandez

  13. sod61 says: Jun 26, 2013 11:17 AM

    Being a Dolphin fan, and as much as I dislike the Patriots, I commend them for their actions in this matter.

  14. ducknichols50 says: Jun 26, 2013 11:19 AM

    I guess we know where branch lloyd and moss will end up

  15. grandmachine says: Jun 26, 2013 11:20 AM

    There should be a rule that makes an exception for a salary cap hit (or at least reduce it) when a player is released due to a crime.

  16. jandmik says: Jun 26, 2013 11:20 AM

    Looking at his past involvement with gangs and such,the shooting of another individual in Florida,I’d guess he’s toast.

  17. markdepace says: Jun 26, 2013 11:23 AM

    Jake Ballard is the happiest man in America!

  18. steelbloggin says: Jun 26, 2013 11:23 AM

    $7.5 million to a NFL franchise pales in comparison to the impact that is being felt by the the Lloyd family

  19. azwildcats96 says: Jun 26, 2013 11:24 AM

    There should be no exception for salary caps when teams knowingly hire someone with a bad reputation. There’s a reason he slipped in the draft as far as he did. You take your chances either way. Contractually, the team should have been smart enough to include clauses protecting them financially.

  20. bcgreg says: Jun 26, 2013 12:17 PM

    Why couldn’t they have voided the contract under the personal conduct clause and not take a hit at all?

  21. turner28 says: Jun 26, 2013 12:20 PM

    As serious as this situation is, and understanding that over 7 million in cap space is a big deal. I am not sure what to think.

    I do not think the Pats should really be commended for cutting him. These “allegations” or whatever charges are filed against him are tragic, and I would hope that ALL teams would respond in the same manner. I am not sure we need to give kudos to the Patriots for doing what should have been done.

  22. christine5014 says: Jun 26, 2013 12:51 PM

    I’m with the guy that said he doesn’t understand why all NFL clauses don’t have stipulations in them about .. he said off the field incidents. I would word it as incidents with the law. Why in the heck should the Pats be on the hook for this years cap hit of the bonus money if the guy gets himself arrested and convicted of a crime and he can’t play? That’s seems crazy that they would not be able to recoup some of the money from him.

    If you’re a player and you don’t want to lose money, here’s a tip: Stay away from people who will get you into trouble with the law.. It’s amazing .. no one in my family or friends circle has ever been arrested to my knowledge.. if we can stay out of trouble, you have plenty of money to hire someone to keep you out of trouble.

    And don’t hand me that innocent until proven guilty junk.. this kid has been bad for a long time and everyone just covered up for him. He did something here.. he didn’t destroy evidence because he’s a boyscout.

  23. lovetbrady says: Jun 26, 2013 1:08 PM

    Wow.I had NO idea that Hernandez had these kinds of issues.I knew he had some trouble in college,but as a Pats fan who lives way out of NE I guess I miss a lot of this kind of info. I don’t remember BR or ESPN mentioning specific things when Hernandez was drafted.I am really worried for our offense this year.

  24. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jun 26, 2013 1:37 PM

    And should have picks stripped.

  25. stats5 says: Jun 26, 2013 1:57 PM

    “The Patriots showed they stand by their brand and would not allow any player to bring shame to the organization regardless of financial ramifications. Hate them or not, the Patriots showed the world what their organization stands for.”

    If they had a good brand that was worth protecting then they would have come clean on Spygate and suspended or fired Billacheat; or not drafted Hernandez; or not signed Hernandez to a hug extension; or not signed Corey Dillon years ago, or not traded for Albert Haynesworth or Randy Moss, and so on and so on. The Pats “Brand” is a garbage/violate rules/take in players who have had numerous off field issues/win at all costs brand as it is. The Hernandez release doesn’t help, it just shows what bad guys they are willing to draft in order to try to win games. The Pats have been a shameful organization for the past 10-12 years.

  26. red2616 says: Jun 26, 2013 2:44 PM

    Now I HATE the Patriots. But with that being said in this situation I don’ think they should take any type of cap hit. If Hernandez can play then yes take the hit. Looks like he (yes, I am assuming here) he killed a guy and is going away for a long time. In that case the Patriots should not have to take a financial hit of any kind.
    To the guy who said “Look how the Patriots are standing by their brand!” LOL You moron, they cut him because he can’t play again. A little hard to catch a TD in Jail. It had nothing to do with preserving the integrity of the team or the Brand. It was about a roster spot, filling a position, moving on, recouping as much cash as possible. Nothing more!
    Coach Bilidick and McDouchbag would sell their mothers to win if they had to. Preserving the Brand, yea right!

  27. red2616 says: Jun 26, 2013 2:58 PM

    The more I read the more I shake my head. Please understand this:

    The Patriots cut him because:
    *At least a year of a trial
    *Been charged with Murder 1
    *Been charged with obstruction
    *PLUS old gun related incidents (5)

    He won’t be able to touch a football for two years and that is if a miracle happens.

    They cut he because HE CAN’T PLAY IN THE NFL ANYMORE! Nothing about integrity, branding, etc.
    Don’t kid yourself. The Police had already taken his passport.
    The Patriots knew the Police arresting him this morning. Don’t think they didn’t know. You think that the Police in the loop didn’t tell the Pats? Some of these guys work the games for extra money. Some are fans and want to help. It happens all the time. Also as a courtesy the police will call family, teams, others in high profile crimes to help control the situation.

    Patriots cut him like every team would because without an act of God, he won’t play for 3-5 years.

  28. lanman11 says: Jun 26, 2013 3:23 PM

    The Patriots have a record for doing business this way. In the 1996 Draft they selected a D-tackle from Nebraska named Christian Peters. After learning more about Peter’s violent history, the Patriots relinquished the rights to Christian only a week after the draft. The team said that Christian’s behavior was “incompatible with our organization’s standards of acceptable conduct.” Myra Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, personally demanded that the team cut all ties with Peter. It was the first time in NFL history that a drafted player had been waived by a team before the start of training camp. Perhaps Mr. Kraft is feeling the ghost of his late wife Myra.

    The Patriots have worked with some other troubled players before and while on field results have been uneven, the majority of the time the players held to a standard of conduct previously unknown to them (a fact that escapes stats5). Whatever they are doing there seems to work. Of all the major pro sports, NFL players seem to be the most troubled, perhaps because of the violent nature of the sport and the sheer numbers of players involved. Nobody can fault The Patriots for not batting 1000. It’s not about what happens. It’s about how you respond, and boy did they respond.

    They are losing offensive weapons at an alarming rate, but if there is a QB that can take lemons and make strawberry lemonade, they have him on the roster.

    FOR THOSE STILL DWELLING IN THEIR MOM’S BASEMENT BY CHOICE: Breaking a rule that was implemented in 2006, in one game in 2007, has no bearing on prior history, to say nothing of the fact that it was common practice up to that point for many if not most/all teams (just ask Jimmy Johnson or Marty Schottenheimer). Your posts have lost their effectiveness and actually have served to clear up the misconceptions on that issue.

  29. lanman11 says: Jun 26, 2013 3:27 PM

    I might add that the Patriots accepted a pretty stiff penalty in 2007/2008 without a single complaint. They don’t whine about things. They just go about the business of adapting to change and putting the best product they can on the field. It’s hard to be sympathetic to people with astronomical amounts of money like pro athletes and owners, but the Patriots do a good job, all things considered.

  30. BringBackTheFlex says: Jun 26, 2013 5:50 PM

    Teams that enable known criminals with millions of dollars should be doubly penalized when that player is jailed anytime after they sign him. Yes, the Patriots did a noble thing but cutting him with out concern about the cap hit, but they signed him without concern about his criminal record.

  31. cmdrsmooth says: Jun 26, 2013 11:24 PM

    The fact these two tight ends with checkered past were even drafted by the Pats, show they only care about winning…they knew these two were ticking time bombs. Hopefully, Gronk grows up quickly before he does something just as stupid, if not worst.

    At least Tebow will bring honor and integrity to that locker room.

  32. cmdrsmooth says: Jun 26, 2013 11:28 PM

    Amen Stat5: well put. Pats are Frauds

    ” they had a good brand that was worth protecting then they would have come clean on Spygate and suspended or fired Billacheat; or not drafted Hernandez; or not signed Hernandez to a hug extension; or not signed Corey Dillon years ago, or not traded for Albert Haynesworth or Randy Moss, and so on and so on. The Pats “Brand” is a garbage/violate rules/take in players who have had numerous off field issues/win at all costs brand as it is. The Hernandez release doesn’t help, it just shows what bad guys they are willing to draft in order to try to win games. The Pats have been a shameful organization for the past 10-12 years.”

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