The NFL Players Association has formally filed a grievance over the New England Patriots' non-payment of an $82,000 workout bonus for Aaron Hernandez's participation in the club's offseason program, union sources said Monday.
The NFLPA also issued the following statement:
"On behalf of all players, it is our responsibility to protect the rights in the collective bargaining agreement. 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 was released by the Patriots in June shortly after his arrest in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez later was charged with first-degree murder as well as five gun-related charges. The former star tight end was indicted by a grand jury on a first-degree murder charge last week.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.