Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Sources: NFLPA files against Pats over doc
By Mike Reiss
The NFL Players Association has filed a grievance against the New England Patriots asking for team doctor Thomas Gill to step down, according to multiple sources.
The grievance, which was filed over the past month, stems from an original grievance filed by the Patriots against defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene in which the team looked to recoup some or all of Fanene's $3.85 million signing bonus after releasing him in August with a "failure to disclose physical condition" designation.
In preparing for Fanene's hearing, two sources said that the NFLPA discovered information it believes may show Gill wasn't acting in the best interest of Fanene. The information, according to sources, was an email correspondence with Patriots executives.
A hearing on the grievance involving Gill isn't expected to be heard for at least one month, per sources, but the Fanene hearing was held Monday and Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, with the NFLPA representing Fanene.
The NFLPA, which filed the grievance against the Patriots independently of Fanene, declined comment because grievance proceedings are confidential.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke highly of Gill, who is also the team physician for the Boston Bruins and previously for the Boston Red Sox, when serving as the keynote speaker at a May 9 sports medicine conference co-chaired by Gill.
"From a coach's perspective, in building a championship team, there is nothing more important really than your medical staff," Belichick said that day. "The overall operation of that group, relative to keeping our players healthy and on the field, is a huge aspect of the organization. … There is nothing more important to a coach than a healthy team."