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NFLPA trying to help Aaron Hernandez collect millions in contract money from New England Patriots

Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

The NFL Players Association is not fighting on behalf of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez because they believe he is innocent.

Instead, the NFLPA believes New England owes Hernandez money.

The union is currently fighting the league to collection millions promised to Hernandez after he signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension last year.

In addition, the NFLPA previously filed a grievance to help Hernandez collect an $82,000 workout bonus, according to The Associated Press. Hernandez's contract statement he would receive that amount if he participated in 90 percent of the team's voluntary offseason workouts.

However, the NFL's collective bargaining agreement allows teams to recuperate bonus money when a player is incarcerated, and Hernandez is currently being held in jail without bond on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of Odin Lloyd. The Patriots cut Hernandez before that bonus, if earned, was due.

"On behalf of all players, it is our responsibility to protect the rights in the collective bargaining agreement," the union said in a statement (c/o The Associated Press). "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."

Obviously, Patriots owner Robert Kraft disagreed with the union.

"It's simple," Kraft told The Associated Press. "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."

Asked if he felt Hernandez didn't do that, Kraft said, "We honor our contracts and we expect the people on the other side to do the same."

Both sides have interesting points, but fortunately, for Hernandez, this case will not be heard in the court of public opinion.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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