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No ill will for Patterson, Eagles after pay dispute

reuben frank csnphilly

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:16 PM


No ill will for Patterson, Eagles after pay dispute

December 17, 2012, 12:47 pm

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No hard feelings, Mike Patterson said.

After a couple days of ugliness last week between his agent and the Eagles, the veteran defensive tackle said Monday he wasn’t bothered by the episode and said he’s looking forward to remaining with the Eagles in the future.

“I wasn’t upset about it,” he said. “That’s just the business part of it, and I don’t worry about that. It’s just business.”

The Eagles created a firestorm late last week when they placed Patterson on the Non-Football Illness list with viral pneumonia, a move that by the terms of his contract carried with it a 50 percent reduction in his base salary over the last two weeks, from $123,529 per week to $61,765.

Patterson’s agent, J.R. Rickert, immediately blasted the Eagles, telling CSNPhilly.com the move was “cheap and classless,” considering that Patterson has been with the team for eight years, has played more games with the franchise than any defensive tackle in history and started 15 games last season despite a condition that required offseason brain surgery.

Patterson was diagnosed with the brain condition when he was hospitalized after suffering a seizure during practice at the team’s training camp at Lehigh University.

Rickert said he planned to file a grievance to challenge the Eagles’ decision to place Patterson on NFI, claiming that his illness could have been related to football.

The Eagles on Thursday quickly re-negotiated Patterson’s contract to restore his full pay. The contract revision had to be approved by the NFL and the NFLPA before the Eagles could pay Patterson the full amount he would have been paid had he stayed on the active roster.

Patterson said he fully approved of Rickert’s handling of the sitaution, even though he wasn’t upset at the Eagles’ actions.

“He was just doing his job,” Patterson said of Rickert.

Either way, Patterson’s season is over after just five games. He spent the first two months of the season on NFI – at $61,675 per week – while recovering from brain surgery to repair his AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, a dangerous tangling of blood vessels and arteries in the brain.

Patterson seemed fine in the Eagles’ locker room the Thursday before the Buccaneers game, but that night, after he went home, he said he laid down on the couch and woke up very ill and throwing up.

The Eagles sent him to University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, where he spent six days and missed the Eagles’ win over the Bucs in Tampa. He was placed on NFI on Wednesday.

“I don’t even remember the first day,” he said. “I was pretty sick.”

Patterson said he feels a lot better now but lost 20 pounds during his ordeal.

He’s signed through 2016 with base salaries of $2.9 million, $3.65 million, $4.9 million and $6.25 million over the next four years.

Obviously, his future depends on who’s coaching the Eagles, but Patterson seems sure that somebody high up in the organization wants him here.

“I’m just happy I’m going to be here,” he said. “I’m just glad we got it resolved.”

E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com