Kraft: Patriots being 'vigilant' in wake of Hernandez

Kraft: Patriots being 'vigilant' in wake of Hernandez
January 31, 2014, 2:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

NEW YORK – About five percent of the Patriots 2014 salary cap is going to be chewed up by a guy sitting in solitary.
 
The 2014 salary cap hit brought on by the release of Aaron Hernandez is going to be $7.5 million.
 
Asked Friday if the Patriots would be trying to free themselves of that cap hit, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said, “We’re doing whatever we can to free up whatever money we can. We have to balance a lot of things.”
 
The Patriots already refused to pay Hernandez’ 2013 guaranteed salary of $3.25 million, a move the NFLPA filed a grievance over. The wrangling between the two sides will probably take a while to resolve but there is urgency for the Patriots to get resolution to this before the 2014 league year begins in early March.
 
Kraft was also asked about what improvements the team’s put in place since Hernandez’ arrest and subsequent release.
 
“We’ve made certain adjustments internally in terms of our own checking,” Kraft said. “We have a wonderful individual who is a full-time pastor who I think has been very strong in terms of his spiritual guidance and we have our own internal discipline.”
 
The pastor has been a presence with the team since training camp and has been on the road with the team as well.
 
“We probably have a hundred young men come through the system,” Kraft explained. “It’s hard to know everything. But I can assure you we are being as vigilant as we can be.”