Fanene hearing concludes, arbitrator will issue ruling


The grievance hearing involving former Patriots defensive lineman’s $3.85 million signing bonus has ended.  The next step will involve one person reviewing the evidence and arguments and issuing a ruling.

According to Nick Underhill of, an arbitrator has heard the testimony and will make a decision on whether the Patriots can refuse to pay Fanene the balance of the bonus ($1.35 million), and whether and to what extent the Pats can recover the $2.5 million that already has been paid.

Per Underhill, the witnesses included Fanene, his wife, coach Bill Belichick, team physician Dr. Thomas Gill, head athletic trainer Jim Whalen, and Fanene’s agent, Angelo Wright.

The question is whether Fanene had a pre-existing knee injury that he hid from the team.

The Texans, given the possibility that Ed Reed failed to disclose his hip injury before signing a contract in Houston, could be keenly interested in the outcome.

4 responses to “Fanene hearing concludes, arbitrator will issue ruling

  1. I hate to use the military vets motto: “All gave some, some gave all” when it comes to athletes and ball players, but when it comes to the NFL it is almost true. While other sports have guaranteed contracts, NFL players have only a signing bonus and nothing more. Everyone, even Peyton Manning, is on a series of one year contracts. After their careers NFL players suffer mightily from injuries sustained during their careers and after 5 years have passed the NFL is not liable to cover any of it while some players can barely walk.

    NFL teams find any way it can not to pay, and now they want to take back, or renege on a deal. It is a shame that only the players have to hold up their end of the “contract.”

  2. An arthritic knee is a degenerative condition. It gets worse over time but Fanene played in 2011 with it. It’s not as if it suddenly appeared. He passed the Patriot’s physical exam and gave team doctors an opportunity to examine it. That’s all that’s required of him. He’s as free to deny pain in the knee as teams are to promise starting jobs or roles when wooing a free agent. Neither amounts to fraud. The Pats should lose this case.

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