The Patriots legal team dished out an authoritative denial on the subject of ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez being owed money on his contract last week, stating that “The Patriots believe under the terms of that contract that they owe not another penny to Mr. Hernandez” in a story featured in Wednesday’s Boston Globe. That’s about as unmistakable they come, especially in a case like this that’s been marked with uncertainty, he-said-she-said, and probable doubt.
The NFL Player’s Union filed a grievance on Aaron Hernandez’s behalf, saying that the team owes him additional money from his 2012 contract extension. The Patriots lawyers seemed to scoff at the notion, calling the union’s claims “meritless” and concluding “Thus, the Patriots owe Hernandez nothing.”
And in a final defiant gesture, attorneys Goldberg, Phelan, and Renshaw, who represent the Patriots, say that if, after arbitration, the team is ordered to pay Hernandez any additional money, the team will not pay anything without a court order.
Meanwhile, Hernandez’s attorney, John Fitzpatrick, countered with the argument that the Patriots and their lawyers trying to avoid paying Hernandez is “fundamentally unfair” because, in his words, it “would impair his state and federal constitutional rights to counsel and to due process”.
(It should be noted that, while the closest your author got to law school was walking past it on the way to class in undergrad, there’s that part of your Miranda Rights that states “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you”, so the previous statement would be better read as “Not paying Hernandez would be ‘fundamentally unfair’ because it “would impair his ability to pay us”.)
The issue of paying Hernandez was brought up by William Kennedy, the attorney representing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, the two men Hernandez is accused of shooting at a stoplight in 2012. His goal is to get a court order stating that Hernandez isn’t able to get his $3.25 million signing bonus, in case the team is told by the player’s union that they still owe him the bonus.
Obviously, the Patriots would prefer to have the case out of the national media as soon as possible, but just like Aerosmith said, it looks like the same old story, same old song and dance for now.