June 25, 2018
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Aaron Hernandez contract guarantees voided; $12 million bonuses sought

By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

All that remains to recoup for the New England Patriots from Aaron Hernandez’s voided five-year contract is up to $12 million in bonuses.

The franchise release Hernandez last week, about 80 minutes after he was arrested and subsequently charged with first-degree murder and five other gun-related charges.

NFL Network reported the Patriots voided $2.5 million guaranteed base salaries for the next two seasons.

Hernandez signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract extension with two years remaining on his contract last August. New England doesn’t want to pay any portion of the remaining $12 million in guarantees.

Multiple endorsement agreements were canceled last week, including with sportswear company Puma.

Browns owner’s company $4 billion in debt

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J company is $4 billion in debt and has a “downgraded” credit rating, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pilot Flying J was recently investigated by the FBI for possible fraud. Haslam has denied any knowledge of the company’s alleged questionable business dealings.

A dozen trucking companies sued Pilot Flying J and five former employees pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the FBI investigation.

The Haslam family also sold their shares in the Class AA Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team.

At the time of the FBI investigation, Haslam said at a news conference that Browns fans need not worry.

But since then he has been offering settlements to trucking companies.

Of greater concern, however, is Haslam’s future as the Browns owner in the wake of the Wall Street Journal report, which stated that Pilot Flying J’s debt nearly doubled to $4 billion over the last two years while the owners gave themselves two payments totaling $1.7 billion from it, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Haslam believes Flying Pilot J could pay down the debt quickly.

Mathews not arrested

San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews was not arrested in a bar fight in San Diego Sunday night, despite earlier reports that he was.

CBS Sports reported that police said Mathews was not arrested or cited.

“I don’t know how that got out there,” the San Diego Police spokesman said. “There was an incident, an allegation of a fight. But Mr. Mathews was not contacted by police.”

Ex-Packer says retirees not a priority

Retired Green Bay Packers tight end Gary Knafelc told NBC26-TV in Green Bay that he believes the NFL and the players association hope that players who retired before 1970 die off so they do not have to deal with them.

Knafelc, 81, retired in 1963 after 10 seasons and later became the public address announcer at Lambeau Field.

“We don’t have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don’t have a voice is that they’re hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we’ll be all dead and they won’t have to worry about anything,” he said in the TV interview last week, which ESPN aired.

The NFL Players Association only cares about current players and those who retired after 1970, according to Knafelc.


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