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Patriots recently received a $1,184,000 salary cap credit for Aaron Hernandez

Miguel Benzan
Miguel Benzan on Twitter
7 years ago at 1:10 pm ET
Posted Under: Individual Salary Cap

In this blog I will try to explain the significance of the recent salary cap credit that the Patriots received in regards to Aaron Hernandez.

At the end of the 2014 season the Patriots ended with $5,258,054 in cap space so that was the number I expected the NFLPA public salary-cap report to report as the Patriots Previous Year CarryOver Amount.
January 17 NFLPA salary cap report.

When I saw that the actual carryover amount was $6,442,054, a difference of $1,184,000. I immediately thought of Aaron Hernandez’s grievances with the Patriots. I go into great detail in this blog post so I am going to just provide a brief summary here. Aaron Hernandez filed a grievance about his 2013 guaranteed salary of $1,323,000, his 2014 guaranteed salary of $1,137,000 and his 2014 guaranteed offseason workout bonus money of $500,000. $1,323,000 + $1,137,000 +$500,000 = $2,960,000. 40% of that amount or $1,184,000 came off the Patriots 2013 cap in late October. 40% of the total grievance amount hits the team cap when the grievance is filed. I tweeted several Patriots beat writers on January 17 – “suspect Pats carryover amount of $6,442,054 includes Hernandez grievance credit. Can U check into that?. Joel Corry, a former sports agent and a must-follow at @CorryJoel if you wish to expand your salary cap knowledge, saw my tweet and then sent me a direct message – “FYl, the Patriots got a $1.184M cap credit for a Hernandez grievance settlement.

What does this mean for the Patriots going forward? It could mean more cap space for the Patriots since an increased prior-year carryover amount will increase the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number. A team’s adjusted cap number consists of 3 components
1.) Prior Year Carryover
2.) League Cap
3.) LTBE/NLTBE incentives adjustment (LTBE=Likely to be Earned).

Let’s presume that the league 2015 cap will be $143 million and the Patriots LTBE/NLTBE adjustment will be a negative $4,562,500. See this blog post about incentives for more background on the negative $4,562,500 number

Before the Hernandez credit the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number would be $142,695,554.
1.) Prior Year Carryover of $5,258,054
2.) League Cap of $143,000,000
3.) LTBE/NLTBE incentives adjustment of (-$4,562,500)
=======================================================
$143,695,554

After the Hernandez credit the Patriots 2015 adjusted cap number would be $143,879,554
1.) Prior Year Carryover of $5,258,054
2.) League Cap of $143,000,000
3.) LTBE/NLTBE incentives adjustment of (-$4,562,500)
4.) Hernandez salary grievance credit of $1,184,000
=======================================================
$144,879,554

Please note that we will NOT know if the Patriots won the grievance until it is announced or until the details of the 2015 adjusted cap numbers are provided. Last year around this time I thought that the Patriots had won the grievance over the 2013 offseason workout bonus money of $82,000. It turns out that conclusion was premature. Found out late that the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin tweeted that $32,800 was counting against the Patriots 2014 cap because of an Aaron Hernandez’ grievance. 40% of $82,000 is $32,800. Given the passage of time I do not think that I am repeating my 2014 mistake. That is, I am confident that the Patriots recently defeated Aaron Hernandez in the grievance over the “guaranteed” amounts in his contract.

Trying to anticipate the questions this blog post will create

  1. Question:How much cap space did Aaron Hernandez take up in 2014?Answer:$7,532,800
  2. Question:How much cap space will Aaron Hernandez take up in 2015?Answer:As of January 17th, none
  3. Question:What about the $3.25 million signing bonus money that was withheld by the Patriots?Answer: That is a separate grievance

Posted Under: Individual Salary Cap
Tags: hernandez

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