|Patterson's season is over, and he wants to make sure he gets paid. (US Presswire)|
With Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson originally expected to miss the entire 2012 year after offseason brain surgery, it was a remarkable feat that Patterson began practicing in late October and played in Weeks 9-13, racking up six tackles and one sack.
But he contracted viral pneumonia last week and had to be hospitalized, and the team placed him on the non-football injury/illness list and cut his pay in the process. That doesn't sit well with Patterson's representation, and his agents say they plan to file a grievance to get Patterson paid in full.
Agent J.R. Rickert told Phillymag.com that Patterson contracted the illness as a direct result of football. He also said the Eagles have to prove otherwise.
“We tried to make that point to the Eagles and they disagreed,” said Rickert. “They said, ‘An illness is an illness.'
“He is entitled to the remaining $150,000 of his contract and we're going to take every step we can to ensure that he gets what he's entitled to under his contract.”
Agent Peter Schaffer told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I think it's pretty clear that he got it at practice or at the NovaCare Complex [practice facility]. That's where he spends all his time. That's all he's doing is practicing and working out."
Patterson originally was on that list at the start of the season as he attempted to come back from his brain surgery to remove the arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Once a player is placed on the NFI list, he can't return for eight games. The team also cut his pay in half -- which is allowable -- and Patterson lost about $1 million in salary.
Now, the Eagles want to do the same thing for the final few games of the season.
“This is not the way an organization should treat a player who has been a solid citizen and a leader on the team and somebody who does nothing but contribute to your club on and off the field,” said Rickert.
“This is not the message you want to send of how you deal with people … This is a guy who had a serious health condition and fought his way back because he wants to contribute to the team.”
Said the Eagles in a statement: “Our number one priority is to get Mike Patterson well enough to get back on the football field. He has worked hard this year to get back and he has our full support as an organization."
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