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Fanene hearing concludes, arbitrator will issue ruling

Jonathan Fanene, Kellen Clemens

St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens, right, is sacked for a 6-yard loss by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Jonathan Fanene during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)


The grievance hearing involving former Patriots defensive lineman’s $3.85 million signing bonus has ended. The next step will involve one person reviewing the evidence and arguments and issuing a ruling.

According to Nick Underhill of, an arbitrator has heard the testimony and will make a decision on whether the Patriots can refuse to pay Fanene the balance of the bonus ($1.35 million), and whether and to what extent the Pats can recover the $2.5 million that already has been paid.

Per Underhill, the witnesses included Fanene, his wife, coach Bill Belichick, team physician Dr. Thomas Gill, head athletic trainer Jim Whalen, and Fanene’s agent, Angelo Wright.

The question is whether Fanene had a pre-existing knee injury that he hid from the team.

The Texans, given the possibility that Ed Reed failed to disclose his hip injury before signing a contract in Houston, could be keenly interested in the outcome.