The collective bargaining appeals panel has allowed the NFL Management Council, on behalf of the Patriots, to proceed with an attempt to recoup "some or all" of the $3.85 million signing bonus that they gave Jonathan Fanene last March, according to documents obtained from a league source.
No date has been set for the hearing.
The NFLPA, on behalf of Fanene, sought to dismiss the action brought by the NFLMC and the Patriots. That motion was denied.
Fanene is due the final $1.35 million of his signing bonus on March 31. The Patriots have told Fanene and his agent, Angelo Wright, that they won't pay the final installment.
According to the documents, the Patriots are alleging that Fanene, on his physical questionnaire, "falsely concealed his dependency on prescription drugs in order to play effectively." They're going to have to prove that Fanene was self medicating for his arthritic left knee without the team's knowledge. That may be difficult.
Fanene was released on Aug. 21 with a "failure to disclose a physical condition." That allowed the Patriots to, if they chose, to come after Fanene's bonus.