East Notes: Pats, Cowboys, Bills, Giants

The hearing for Jimmy Graham‘s franchise tag positional designation took place in June and a decision is expected from arbitrator Stephen Burbank this week, but another key arbitration hearing – for Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots – has no set date yet, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network (Twitter link).

As Breer details in a pair of tweets, the two sides are at odds over the tight end’s $12.5MM signing bonus. The Pats have already made $9.25MM in bonus payments, but didn’t pay the remaining $3.25MM this March. Hernandez’s camp figures to try to recover that last $3.25MM, which could end up going to the victims’ families, while the Pats may look to recoup a portion of the bonus that they already paid.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • After signing free agent guard Uche Nwaneri and acquiring linebacker Rolando McClain, the Cowboys may also look to add a veteran at tight end, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, who suggests the team could use a blocker behind Jason Witten.
  • Since Kiko Alonso‘s ACL injury will technically be considered a non-football injury, the Bills could elect not to pay him for the 2014 season. However, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, because Alonso’s injury was sustained while he was working out, not paying him his ’14 salary could send a bad message, suggesting players are better off not working out when camp isn’t in session. As ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak notes (via Twitter), Alonso wouldn’t earn an accrued season if the Bills placed him on the non-football-injury list, meaning he’d become a restricted free agent after 2016 rather than an unrestricted free agent.
  • After signing John Jerry as a free agent this offseason, the Giants would look to see the veteran guard make a run at a starting spot, writes Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger.
  • Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com takes a look at the Eagles‘ depth chart on the defensive side of the ball.
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