We all know that Aaron Hernandez has landed himself in some hot water, thanks to suspicious behavior over the better part of the past two weeks, and now facing murder charges as a result. He has not only hurt himself with his actions however. Aaron Hernandez has cost the New England Patriots a lot of money as a result of his alleged illicit activity and resulting legal troubles.
For starters the team had to release the star tight end that it gave a five year, $40 million contract extension to last season. The team will now face cap penalties this coming season for releasing the tight end, and because the release occurred after the end of May, they will also face cap penalties next season. The team faces a lot of penalties for the release. Aaron Hernandez will cost the Patriots a $2.5 million charge for the portion of his $12.5 million signing bonus they paid last year. His base salary of $1.323 million for this season was also fully guaranteed in the contract, so in total Hernandez will have a cap hit of $4.073 million this season.
Going into the 2014 season,$7.5 million of the singing bonus will be owed, as well as his $1.137 million guaranteed salary. That means that in 2014 he will have a cap hit of $8.637 million, even if he is sitting behind bars. Aaron Hernandez has cost the Patriots a lot of money.
One would imagine that the cap money alone would be a difficult enough amount cost for the New England to stomach for a tight end that potentially will be in jail and not helping their football team. However that isn’t the only loss that Aaron Hernandez has given the Patriots.
In a move that is sure to please parents, but not team pocket books, every Aaron Hernandez jersey sold will be exchanged for a jersey of a different player at no cost. A classy move not to cash in on the death of Odin Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez involvement in the murder will cost the Patriots all the revenue that his jerseys, along with the exchanged jerseys would have brought in. Aaron Hernandez is costing the Patriots a lot of money.
Exchanges for jerseys will be available at the New England Patriots Pro Shop on July 6 and 7, with no questions asked. The only stipulation is that the exchange only involves the #81 jersey he wore after his rookie season. If you have a #85 rookie jersey, the exchange will not apply to you. Two years and an off season of jersey sales is not a small sum of money, although exact numbers weren’t readily available, Hernandez was a popular player and budding star, so he was sure to have sold a significant amount of merchandise. Jerseys sell for between $99 and $250 each on NFL.com, making this an expensive exchange.
It seems wrong that the NFL does not have an exemption for guaranteed money in contracts in this situation. Should Hernandez be convicted of murder, it would seem justified that he was released from the team. Do the New England Patriots really deserve such a large cost to be levied against them because Hernandez got himself into legal trouble?
Whether or not it is fair, Aaron Hernandez has cost the New England Patriots a lot of money. Guaranteed money coming from the $40 million contract extension he was given prior to his involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd, as well as an exchange of all his jerseys sold the past two seasons. This investigation has proven costly to the Patriots in more ways than losing depth at the tight end position.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express