The Patriots hit punter Jake Bailey with a two-game suspension late during the 2022 season, with the two sides disagreeing on the player’s ability to return from injury. This decision was especially relevant considering Bailey’s $2MM in guaranteed money for 2023, money that would be void via a suspension. As a result, Bailey filed a grievance against the organization.
Ben Volin of the Boston Globe passed along the outcome of that grievance (on Twitter). The Patriots owe Bailey no money but will be left with a $2.37MM cap hit for the 2023 campaign. This cap hit is likely a result of the Patriots’ expected decision to cut Bailey after the season. The team will also get a cap credit worth a bit more than $40K for the 2022 season.
Bailey recently acknowledged that the suspension caught him by surprise.
“You know, there’s a lot to unpack,” Bailey said (h/t Joe Schad of The Palm Beach Post). “And a lot of it is between them and me, partly. I’ve talked to coach (Bill) Belichick about this and how, you know, we want to talk about all this stuff. Obviously, you don’t want to end up on a list like that, ever. And, you know, confusion was a lot of it. And I think we’re just past it, now at this point. It was something that happened. And it was something that was unfortunate for both sides. And you know, now I think both parties are in a better situation.”
The veteran punter later caught on with the Dolphins, signing a one-year, $1.23MM deal. Bailey brings plenty of experience, having seen time in 58 regular season games for the Patriots since 2019. Bailey earned a Pro Bowl nod and first-team All-Pro recognition for his performance during the 2020 campaign. He inked a four-year, $13.5MM extension with New England last offseason, but a back injury ultimately spelled the end of his career in New England.
More notes out of New England…
- The Patriots have been busy reshuffling their coaching staff this offseason, but the team has also made some changes to their front office. According to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (via Twitter), the Patriots are expected to add former Panthers vice president of player personnel Pat Stewart. The long-time executive previously had a 10-year stint in New England, winning a pair of Super Bowl rings. Per Wilson, Stewart was pursed by a number of teams around the NFL, especially those with connections to the Patriots organization.
- Jabrill Peppers‘ new contract with the Patriots will see him earn a $1.08MM fully guaranteed base salary in 2023 and a $3.18 base salary ($1.82MM guaranteed) in 2024, per Wilson (on Twitter). The former first-round pick joined the Patriots last offseason and proceeded to get into all 17 games for his new team, collecting 60 tackles. He signed a new two-year, $9MM deal with New England at the start of free agency.
- Joe Cardona‘s new contract with the Patriots made him the league’s highest-paid long snapper, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). The veteran signed a four-year, $6.3MM pact, and the deal can max out at $6.7MM with incentives. Cardona also set positional records with his $1MM signing bonus and $2.6MM in guaranteed money. The former fifth-round pick has been with the Patriots since 2015.