The New England Patriots do not intend to pay Aaron Hernandez an $82,000 offseason workout bonus due Aug. 1 for work the tight end performed this spring before being charged with murder, according to league sources who have spoken to the team.
The Patriots declined comment.
Withholding this offseason workout bonus is expected to be a harbinger of the $3.25 million bonus due to Hernandez in March, which league sources said the Patriots also will not pay.
Thus, more than $3.3 million that Hernandez was counting on is expected to be contested, at the very least. Should New England do what multiple sources in the league are expecting, it will force Hernandez's agents to file a grievance against the Patriots to attempt to recover money that they believed was guaranteed him, per sources.
It sets up yet another battle between the Patriots and agent David Dunn, who has something of a contentious recent history with the franchise.
Dunn represented former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker in negotiations that turned sour and led to Welker signing with the Denver Broncos for a less lucrative deal than was being offered in New England. Dunn also represents Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who was recently arrested on suspicion of DUI in Lincoln, Neb.
There is money, however, that New England will be unable to retrieve. By releasing Hernandez last month, the Patriots surrendered the chance to try to recoup any portion of the $9.25 million signing bonus they already gave their former tight end as part of the five-year, $40 million contract extension he signed in August.
Hernandez is being held without bail after being charged with the murder of semipro football player Odin Lloyd.