Aaron Hernandez's situation was no joke. On top of facing a trial for first-degree murder and going to prison, Hernandez's contract with the New England Patriots was terminated. The NFL Players Association has filed a grievance against the Patriots on behalf of Hernandez. The NFLPA is looking to recoup $82,000 in workout bonuses from Hernandez's contract.
A team can recover bonuses and avoid a cap hit if a player violates one of the league's personal-conduct policies or defaults on contract language. Hernandez signed a five-year extension in August 2012 that was to keep him with the Pats through 2018. The extension had a maximum value of $40 million with an additional $12.5 million signing bonus. When looking only at the signing bonus and base salaries, Hernandez earned $9.79 million of the extension.