Cap implications of cutting Hernandez

June, 26, 2013
6/26/13
1:17
PM ET
Obviously secondary to the news of Aaron Hernandez's arrest and his subsequent release from the Patriots, some have wondered what it means for the team, salary-cap wise.

Here is what we know:

Last summer, the Patriots gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million. The deal included a $12.5 million signing bonus. At this point, when looking solely at signing bonus and base salaries, Hernandez has earned $9.79 million of the extension.

His new salary-cap charge in 2013 is just over $5 million, an increase of about $1 million, league sources told ESPN. For 2014, that charge will be $7.5 million, which is the remaining pro-ration of his signing bonus.

It’s unclear what kind of communication, if any, the Patriots had with the NFL regarding Hernandez’s contract over the past nine days. By releasing Hernandez on Wednesday, the Patriots appear to have waived all rights to recoup any bonus money or salary through the CBA.

One other factor to consider: A club can recover bonus money and avoid a cap hit if a player violates one of the league's personal conduct policies or defaults on contract language. It’s possible the Patriots have talked to the NFL about this possibility, but that’s unknown at this point.

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