The debate over what an NFL player makes — what he can earn with bonuses vs. what is guaranteed — is the issue at the forefront of a lawsuit over Adrian Peterson, his injured knee, and an insurance claim denied by Lloyd's of London.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Peterson took out a Loss of Value Insurance Policy with Lloyd's in 2016. The policy essentially said that if Peterson were to get injured, and not receive a contract averaging more than $4 million per year, he was entitled to the difference.
Peterson suffered a torn meniscus and a lateral collateral ligament sprain in 2016 and was eventually cut by the Minnesota Vikings. On April 25, 2017, Peterson signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints for $3.5 million per season (more on that amount later).
According to the lawsuit, Peterson then filed a claim with Lloyd's saying, "Mr. Peterson has sustained an Aggregate Ascertained Loss of USD $500,000 per year."
But Lloyd's didn't see it the same way Peterson did and denied his claim. In a letter to Peterson, Empirical Loss Management (the company appointed by Lloyd's to investigate the claim) said, "Compensation is defined as and includes, amongst other terms, Salary, Signing Bonus, Performance Bonus, Roster Bonus and a Reporting Bonus."
They argued that Adrian Peterson's contract, with bonuses included, was actually worth $6.25 million per year, so he was not entitled to anything under the policy.
The letter goes on to say, "Because the Offer from the Saints is greater than the Offer stated in the Policy, you have not sustained an Aggregate Ascertained Loss and thus, no benefits are payable to you or the Assured under the Policy."
In the lawsuit — which was filed by a company that is has assumed the right as the assured under the policy — they raise the argument that while the contract talks about money "regardless of when paid, it does not state regardless of if paid.'" They contend the amount considered should only be money "actually delivered, earned, and/or received" by Peterson.
Peterson ended up playing only one season with the Saints and made $3.5 million, so the lawsuit is seeking $500,000.
The case is ongoing.