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New murder charges likely won’t help Pats recoup money from Hernandez

Hernandez Getty Images

After the authorities arrested former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez for killing Odin Lloyd in June 2013, the team swiftly terminated a big-money contract Hernandez had inked the prior August.  In October, Hernandez filed a grievance seeking payment of fully guaranteed money along with the final $3.25 million installment of his $12.5 million signing bonus.

With Hernandez now accused of killing two men more than a month before signing the contract, an interesting question arises.  Does the fact that Hernandez allegedly (or, based on the outcome of the trial, actually) gunned down two men before signing the contract enhance the team’s case?

Probably not, based on the relevant language of the labor deal.  The biggest problem for the Patriots flows from the fact that they cut Hernandez.  If they’d kept Hernandez during an inevitable league-imposed suspension, the Patriots eventually could have recovered $10 million in signing bonus money at the rate of $2.5 million per year from 2014 through 2017.  By cutting him, the Patriots arguably have waived the ability to claim that Hernandez has forfeited any of his signing bonus money.

But, as they saw in the legal profession, bad facts make bad law.  The extreme circumstances involving Hernandez could result in an arbitrator twisting and distorting the terms of the labor deal to allow the Patriots to pursue the $10 million in signing bonus money that had not been fully earned by Hernandez before they cut him.

On the other hand, they cut him.  They didn’t have to cut him.  The Falcons didn’t cut Mike Vick when he went to jail in 2007 for dogfighting, and the Falcons eventually recovered significant bonus money from him.  The Patriots easily could have handled the potential P.R. problem by explaining that they had to keep Hernandez on the roster in order to be able to recover their money.

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22 Responses to “New murder charges likely won’t help Pats recoup money from Hernandez”
  1. thenyolive says: May 15, 2014 4:18 PM

    “The Patriots easily could have handled the potential P.R. problem by explaining that they had to keep Hernandez on the roster in order to be able to recover their money.” ——————————————————————–And you guys would have been cool with that, right?

  2. thegreatgabbert says: May 15, 2014 4:20 PM

    If you can’t solve your next game of “Clue”, go with “Hernandez did it with a gun, somewhere in North America.”.

  3. slugbaitspace says: May 15, 2014 4:26 PM

    Handling a P.R. problem such as not cutting a possible murderer from your team is not “easy”.

    This is the Internet. We judge.

  4. ampats says: May 15, 2014 4:27 PM

    “The Patriots easily could have handled the potential P.R. problem by explaining that they had to keep Hernandez on the roster in order to be able to recover their money$$. ”

    No people who says things negative about the Krafts. Instead they did the right thing and disassociated the Patriots brand with the murderer regardless of $$

  5. elyasm says: May 15, 2014 4:31 PM

    Yeah, because I’m sure sites like this and ESPN would have treated the Patriots in a completely fair and balanced manner if they had kept him on the team for monetary reasons.

  6. granadafan says: May 15, 2014 4:40 PM

    Pats management have to be careful. We all know what happens when you make Hernandez mad or cross him.

  7. stew48 says: May 15, 2014 4:56 PM

    you referred to “earned” bonus money. Didn’t you mean “due” bonus money. Don’t think there is any earned bonus money, just due. The only earned bonus money might be with the signing of the contract, already done.

  8. wsnygiantfan says: May 15, 2014 4:59 PM

    Just don’t pay the man anything, all he can do is sue for the money. Then once he is found guilty and loses the civil suits against him, then pay it. At least it will go to the victims and not a murderer. (Alleged, as he hasn’t been tried yet).

  9. ravenswhat says: May 15, 2014 5:56 PM

    That’s what they get for making a really bad deal with a player with a ton of ongoing red flags. And they knew it at the time too but got greedy because he was scoring tds.

  10. 700levelvet says: May 15, 2014 6:00 PM

    That’s what they get for drafting him… Expensive lesson learned

  11. ayoungandres says: May 15, 2014 6:36 PM

    He’ll never see a dime. His lawyers and victims on the other hand….

  12. thingamajig says: May 15, 2014 6:57 PM

    He’s probably already blown most of the 10 mil on lawyers already.

  13. marima07 says: May 15, 2014 7:33 PM

    Pats would be happy if they merely got some cap relief.

    It’s crazy that the players’ union will put up a fight on behalf of Hernandez.

  14. lewsblues says: May 15, 2014 7:35 PM

    Kraft made the right call …

  15. thestrategyexpert says: May 15, 2014 7:42 PM

    Good the Pats don’t deserve a break, even if he didn’t get arrested it was arguably a dumb deal and they deserve to be taxed for it.

  16. 700levelvet says: May 15, 2014 8:26 PM

    So… He was murdering people while doing it the Patriot way. How ironic

  17. sparky151 says: May 15, 2014 9:31 PM

    Hernandez will assign the money to his family or friends before any civil judgments against him are entered.

  18. slaugin says: May 15, 2014 10:02 PM

    They can afford it, it’s the Cap relief that is helpful

  19. eessppnn says: May 16, 2014 1:02 AM

    Not the end of this! The Pouncy’s and Reggie Nelson have some splaini ng to do.
    They are definitely getting pushed into the Florida shootings and will be pulled in.
    Watch

  20. cliverush says: May 16, 2014 11:27 AM

    Robert Kraft did the right thing cutting this bum. If the team has to take a hit, so be it. The facts of this man’s criminal spree are still being revealed in two different courtrooms. (Suffolk and Bristol)The money will never get to his criminal gang. (AKA The Hernandez Family)

  21. simonator917 says: May 16, 2014 4:53 PM

    Kraft did the right thing.

  22. simonator917 says: May 16, 2014 4:55 PM

    Kraft did the right thing. The money was not nearly as important as their credibility.

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