Patriots’ Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez settlements create cap space for New England
The New England Patriots’ offseason moves are far from over. Few weeks after acquiring the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player Cam Newton, the Patriots may have room to add another piece to the puzzle. Settlements in compensation grievances with Antonio Brown ($4 million) and Aaron Hernandez ($2.55 million) have created space for the club for a sum of $7.79 million.
NFL Insiders Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported the developing news on Twitter:
With @FieldYates, reporting significant salary-cap news for Patriots: Settlements in compensation grievances with Antonio Brown ($4 million to team) and Aaron Hernandez ($2.55 million to team) have created space for the club. The Patriots' current cap space is $7.79 million.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 11, 2020
Earlier this week, the Patriots were almost out of salary cap space with only less than $500,000 left. After the settlements, they now stand at $7,794,739, with flexibility for in-season roster management.
In September 2019, Antonio Brown agreed on a one-year,$10.5 million contract with the then reigning Super Bowl champions. The star wide receiver stirred quite a few problems during his time in New England with his off-field drama and was released by the team 11 days later.
Brown racked up four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown for a 43-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins. The game was his only appearance for the Patriots.
The other compensation grievance involves controversial star Aaron Hernandez. The Patriots cut the tight end in early 2013 after his arrest for first-degree murder. His separation from the team happened less than a year after signing a lucrative five-year, $40 million contract. Hernandez committed suicide in prison after he was convicted of murder in 2017.
It will be interesting to see how Bill Belichick and the Patriots will utilize their newly-acquired cap space. With this, the team can now go after some free agents to bolster their roster with three weeks to go before training camps start.