/Patriots get $6.5M in cap room by settling Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

Patriots get $6.5M in cap room by settling Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances


The New England Patriots have settled grievances involving the contracts of both former wide receiver Antonio Brown and the late Aaron Hernandez this week, which creates more than $6 million in salary cap room, ESPN’s Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported.

Report: Pats settle Brown, Hernandez grievances

The Patriots did not have to pay all of the $9 million set aside for former receiver Antonio Brown. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)The Patriots did not have to pay all of the $9 million set aside for former receiver Antonio Brown. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

The Patriots did not have to pay all of the $9 million set aside for former receiver Antonio Brown. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Brown spent 11 days with the Patriots last fall before he was cut following allegations of sexual impropriety. His guaranteed money was thus reportedly made null and void, per his contract, but in October Brown filed a grievance for an unpaid signing bonus and guaranteed salary.

The Patriots signed him to a $9 million signing bonus with the first half paid Sept. 23 and the second half to be paid in January.

As part of the settlement, the team is now paying him $5 million, per ESPN. It opens up $4 million in credit.

Hernandez’ grievance was also settled and the Patriots received a $2.55 million credit, per ESPN. Hernandez was cut less than a year into a five-year, $39.58 million contract. He died of suicide in prison after he was convicted of murder. The grievance was with his estate.

Patriots get more cap room

The Patriots were flying awfully close to the cap at less than $500,000 below before some roster moves last week.

They reworked running back Rex Burkhead’s contract, dropping his 2020 base salary from $2.5 million to $1.05 million. It was likely to create more cap space as the team officially announced the signing of quarterback Cam Newton on Wednesday. His one-year deal is reportedly worth up to $7.5 million with a cap hit of approximately $1.1 million, per Spotrac.

Now with the $6.55 million in cap credits, the Patriots have about $7.79 million in room, per ESPN.

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