The NFL salary cap system forgives, but it does not forget.
Even after cutting Aaron Hernandez, the fact that he signed a relatively large contract extension less than a year ago means that Patriots will be facing salary cap repercussions for years to come.
Since he was cut after June 1st, only the guaranteed money he was due this year, $2.5 million, will count against the salary cap; the entire remaining guaranteed $7.5 million signing bonus comes into play against the cap next year.
Since I don’t have Hernandez’s contract with the Patriots in front of me, I can’t tell you how much the Patriots will be on the hook for beyond next year. But Brian McIntyre from Yahoo.com expressed his belief on KJR radio station in Seattle that the Patriots will seek future salary cap relief from the NFL as a result of Hernandez’s arrest and subsequent termination from the team.
“What they’ll probably do is take that $7.5 million hit next year, but, in the future, and this could be two, three, four years down the line, [what they could do] is try to gain some cap credits.”