by Aaron Wilson
August 28, 02013
With the NFL Players Association filing a grievance to try to get former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez an $82,000 workout bonus for participating in 90 percent of the team's voluntary workouts, there's going to be a pushback from the team based on owner Robert Kraft's stance.
"On behalf of all players, it is our responsibility to protect the rights in the collective bargaining agreement," the union said in a statement. "We are not tone-deaf to what the allegations are in this case, but for the benefit of all players, there are important precedents here we must protect."
Hernandez, of course, is accused of murder and remains in jail without bail.
He was cut from the team on June 26 after he was arrested.
"It's simple," Kraft told reporters. "You can look at our history. We honor all our contracts, and we expect the people who sign them to honor their part of the contract. We honor our contracts, and we expect the people on the other side to do the same."
Speaking generally about the Patriots' players under his stewardship, Kraft is proud of their conduct.
"We've had probably over 2,000 people playing here and I think, by and large, we've done a pretty good job," Kraft said. "If you look at the last four years I don't think we had any off-field incidents. So we're as diligent as we can be. We know what we want to achieve, yet, when people go outside this building, it's like those of you who have children. Once they get to a certain age, you can't control all their activities.
"All kinds of things are going to happen. We do our best to hope that they understand they're in a unique place. Playing in the NFL is a privilege and we hope they're wise and mature enough to make sure they know how to take advantage of that."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.