By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Center Eric Wood’s retirement is on hold over questions about whether the Buffalo Bills can ask him to return a portion of the contract bonus he received for signing a two-year extension in August, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, teams can ask for a portion of bonus money to be returned if a player retires before his contract expires. There is, however, a gray area if a player retires because of a career-ending injury.
The person said the discrepancy is the reason Wood did not announce his retirement as anticipated during a news conference on Monday. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because Wood nor the team commented on the matter that delayed the start of the news conference by nearly an hour.
When the event finally began, Wood read only from a prepared statement and spoke for less than two minutes, during which he said he was still on the Bills roster.
Wood was scheduled to announce his retirement after revealing on Friday that he would no longer be cleared to play after being diagnosed with a severe neck injury.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane declined to get into detail when he spoke with reporters. He did say the Bills currently don’t have any cap space to afford releasing Wood until the NFL’s 2018 business year opens in mid-March.
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