The whizzing match between the San Francisco 49ers and AWOL defensive end Kentwan Balmer just got a lot more bitter. Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area reports the 49ers are demanding back nearly a million dollars of bonus money already paid to Balmer.
Balmer has now skipped his fifth consecutive day of 49ers practice for undisclosed reasons.
An NFL source told Comcast's Matt Maiocco that the Niners think Balmer's absence gives them a loophole to recoup money they've already paid him. "The 49ers believe Balmer violated the terms of his contract and should be forced to re-pay a portion of his signing bonus," Maiocco writes.
The 49ers refused to comment. Balmer's agent is letting calls go straight to voice mail and not returning them.
Balmer received a $1.6 million signing bonus when he signed his five-year, $8 million contract in 2008. The team cannot claw back the entire signing bonus, but they are trying to claw back most of it. ProFootballTalk.com crunches the numbers to explain 49ers' argument for demanding $960,000 back from Balmer.
As you can guess, Balmer will not be travelling with the team for Sunday's preseason opener in Indianapolis. From the looks of things, he may never play with the 49ers again.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is all freaked out by it being Friday the 13th because now Glen Coffee is AWOL too.