Players being unable to perform is nothing new in the NFL, and with reports flying around that an arrest warrant may be forthcoming for Aaron Hernandez, it seems possible that he may not be able to take the field for the New England Patriots this season, making this find all that more interesting.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Aaron Hernandez's contract lacks a "failure to perform" or "failure to practice" clause. This is a safe-guard clause that is often included in contracts to protect teams from players' suspensions or legal woes. Essentially the clauses are a way for teams to get back guaranteed money should players get suspended or simply not play.
Rapoport, however, found that Hernandez's contract contains no such language, potentially allowing him to keep $2.5 million that would otherwise be owed back to the New England Patriots if his contract contained such a clause.
The breakdown, according to Rapoport is as follows. The Patriots would still be on the hook for $1.323 million and $1.137 million in 2013 and 2014 respectively should Hernandez be unable to participate with the Patriots' football activities. This is because Hernandez's amended contract does not include a "failure to report" clause, meaning he'd keep those base salary figures. It's unclear why the clause, which would normally be included in almost any contract, is not present, but it may prove to be helpful to Hernandez should he be arrested on alleged charges involving the death of Odin Lloyd.