Chad Jones, injured in a horrific car wreck on Friday, may end up lucky in many ways. One of those is that he is part of the New York Giants organization. The Giants have already had Director of Player Development Charles Way visit Jones.
Though the injury occurred as Jones was ending a detour along streetcar tracks, something Rosenthal (who went to Tulane) explains has become an unfortunate driving hobby in New Orleans, the Giants have no cause to recover any of his $800,000-plus signing bonus, since under the current labor deal signing bonus money can be recovered only in the event of a holdout, a retirement, or a violation of the steroids policy.
But the Giants could, if they so choose, decline to pay Jones his base salary of $320,000 for 2010. Barring a miraculous recovery and rehab, Jones will land on the non-football illness/injury list. For players unable to play due to an injury incurred on their own time, the team can choose to pay the salary — or not to pay it. When Pats linebacker Tedy Bruschi missed time after suffering a stroke, the team paid his salary. When former Chargers linebacker Steve Foley’s career ended after being shot multiple times by an overly aggressive off-duty police officer, the Chargers cut Foley off. (The Chargers also sued Foley for recovery of $416,000 in signing bonus money, a maneuver that was available under the pre-2006 labor agreement.)
We’d be surprised if the Giants don’t pay Jones. Even though he was behaving recklessly, they thought enough of the former two-sport LSU star to make him a third-round pick, and they surely don’t want to poison him against the franchise over a relatively small amount of cash.