New England Patriots punter Jake Bailey isn’t taking his bizarre suspension too well.
The Patriots suspended Bailey and cornerback Jack Jones abruptly ahead of Week 18. ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted the financial implications, saying, “When a player is placed on the reserve/suspended list, it voids future guarantees, but a player can challenge that in arbitration.” Bailey just so happens to be owed his guaranteed money from a contract that he signed with New England. So, needless to say, his camp isn’t letting this go unnoticed.
Bailey filed a grievance according to ProFootballTalk. According to PFT, “Agent Doug Hendrickson said in a statement to PFT that during his time on injured reserve Bailey has been fully engaged in all required rehab and treatments, and that Bailey was ready, willing and able to return to play before the Patriots suspended him.” His agent cited Bailey’s impeccable attendance and his willingness to get back on the field as well.
Bailey is owed $2.115 million according to the PFT report. If suspended, the Patriots have the option to void his contract and not pay him that money.
So, in turn, this looks like a very messy situation that’s developed here. The grievance process should be something to watch.
Jake Bailey was named an All-Pro in 2020 and was also named to the Pro Bowl that season. He’s averaged 45.9 yards/punt in his career.