The NFLPA has filed a grievance on behalf of Aaron Hernandez against the New England Patriots for off-season workout bonus money that the Players Association says is owed to the former tight end. Hernandez is currently in prison after being charged with the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd.
Nevertheless, the NFLPA stated to USA Today, “We are not tone-deaf to what the allegations are in this case, but forthe benefit of all players, there are important precedents here we mustprotect.” The need to protect this precedent has become much more important to the NFLPA recently, perhaps due to the fact that at least 40 NFL players have been arrested since the start of 2013
In 2012, Aaron Hernandez capitalized on strong performances for New England by signing a $40 million contract extension–with a guarantee of $12.5 million. Of that money, Hernandez has already received $9.5 million and, while the Patriots voided future guarantees, he could be in line to receive the guaranteed $1.137 million of his $2.5 guaranteed base salary for 2013. The guarantee for the base salary kicked in on March 17, which was months before any allegations were raised against Hernandez.
Hernandez’s contract also contained a deferred signing bonus of $3.25 that was set to be paid to him in 2014, which is further money that the Patriots might have to pay their former tight end. The NFLPA is seeking the $82,000 they state is owed to Hernandez per a bonus in his contract for attending the off-season workouts from April to June of this year.