When a player gets 20k for 4 days of work

May, 21, 2014
May 21
12:10
PM ET
This is more of an "inside football" topic and one that interested me from a number-crunching standpoint.

When the Patriots announced Tuesday they released rookie linebacker James Morris of Iowa after just four days, it seemed like a case where they gave a young player a look and simply decided to move on.

But there was more to it.

First, Morris was released with a "failed physical" designation, meaning he sustained some type of injury in his 3-4 days of practice with the team. Second, the Patriots had signed Morris to a contract that included a $10,000 signing bonus and $10,000 in guaranteed base salary. That $20,000 investment ranks tied for third highest among the team's undrafted players, which shows the club had some level of expectation that Morris would stick around a bit.

So for those who might look at the Patriots' release of Morris after just four days as cold-hearted, consider that Morris is still leaving with $20,000 for his four days of work.

Also, the possibility exists that Morris could return to the team when he recovers from injury. This looks like a case where the Patriots wanted the roster spot for another player at this time, and were willing to absorb the $20,000 loss.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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