The NFL has shown in recent years a willingness to aggressively enforce the personal-conduct policy. Typically, the NFL will allow a first-time incident to make its way through the legal system before taking action.
The league gets more interested when a player has had two or more incidents.
That becomes problematic for Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who currently is involved in an investigation regarding an “associate” (reportedly Odin Lloyd) whose body was found roughly a mile from Hernandez’s home, in the vicinity of a rental car tied to Hernandez. Per TMZ, Hernandez also was sued last week in Florida for allegedly shooting a man in the face.
Even if Hernandez is never arrested, Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t, either. And Roethlisberger was suspended six games (reduced to four) after being sued for sexual assault in Nevada and later accused (but not charged) of sexual assault in Georgia.
So what will the league do about Hernandez? Not surprisingly, the league isn’t saying.
“We have no comment,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT by email.
Based on past situations, it’s safe to assume that NFL Security will conduct an investigation of its own regarding both incidents, coming to a conclusion as to whether Hernandez violated the terms of the league’s personal-conduct policy either in the shooting incident in Florida or the situation in Massachusetts. Discipline can be imposed even if he’s not formally accused of or charged with any crime.