The Patriots' release of Jonathan Fanene on Tuesday afternoon may have raised some eyebrows. Not necesarrily because of the fact that the Patriots released a veteran — they've been known to do that in the past — but because just five months earlier, they handed him a near-$4 million signing bonus.
We're starting to learn more about that, though, and it sounds like New England might be digging in to attempt to try and wrestle that bonus back from Fanene. The reason for that is that Fanene reportedly failed to disclose a preexisting injury or other physical issue upon signing with the Pats.
NFL writer Ross Tucker reports that the Patriots cut the defensive tackle under the "Failure to Disclose Physical Condition" clause. Tucker also reports that the Patriots are "likely going after" the $3.85 million signing bonus they gave Fanene in the offseason. That bonus was part of a three-year, $12 million deal.
The Boston Globe's Greg Bedard confirmed Tucker's reporting later Wednesday morning.
The undisclosed injury or "physical condition" may very well be a knee injury. The veteran has missed the last two weeks because of a knee problem, and the Boston Herald reported on Tuesday night that Fanene's knee injury led to the dismissal.
From a football sense, that decision seemed to make sense, even on Wednesday night. It now makes sense from a financial standpoint as well.