Any time a pro athlete gets arrested, it’s not a good thing for his or her team. However, the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday morning is going to be a lot worse on the team than originally expected.
According to a report from the NFL‘s official website, Hernandez’s contract does include the common “failure to perform” clause found in most extensions given to players by the Patriots. That means that even if Hernandez faces jail time for his possible involvement in the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, he still may receive up to $2.5 million of his deal.
His contract states he won’t receive his workout bonus if Hernandez doesn’t show up for whatever reason, but the part of his contract about his base salary does not include any such language. So not only could the Patriots be without Hernandez and fellow starting tight end Rob Gronkowski, they could be paying No. 81 to sit in a jail cell if he’s in fact convicted for one reason or another.
It’s unlike the Patriots to overlook a small detail that could allow a player who may be facing criminal charges to collect money while no longer a member of the team, but if Hernandez is convicted, that could indeed be the case.