Timing of Hernandez incident creates dilemma for NFL, Patriots

Reuters

When former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 2000, the situation was resolved well in advance of the opening of training camp.  With Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, the timeline creates a major problem for the league, the team, and ultimately Hernandez.

The Pats go to camp on July 26.  That’s five weeks from today.  It’s highly unlikely that the Hernandez situation will be resolved within the next five weeks, barring a guilty plea.

So what will the Patriots and the league do with Hernandez on July 26?  If, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network recently reported, the Pats shooed Hernandez out of the facility on Thursday because the team didn’t want the stadium to be the site of a “media stakeout,” the Patriots won’t want training camp to be overtaken by the Hernandez saga — especially if, within the next five weeks, he’s arrested, charged, and/or indicted.

The only good news is that Tim Tebow suddenly would be attracting far less attention.

In 2007, former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted in mid-July.  The NFL promptly told him to stay away from training camp.  Vick didn’t fight it.  In this case, perhaps Hernandez wouldn’t, either.

But he could, if he wanted.  Hernandez could argue he’s innocent until proven guilty, and he’s entitled to keep working while he awaits trial.

Unfortunately for Hernandez, Commissioner Roger Goodell has the full discretion and authority to take action under the conduct policy, with the appeal landing back on his desk.  Thus, Goodell basically can do whatever he wants.

What he chooses to do could be be influenced by the Patriots’ wishes and desires.  And that will prompt the other 31 teams to carefully scrutinize the manner in which this is handled for signs of favoritism to the Pats.

If Hernandez weren’t a key player, it would be an easy call for New England.  He’d be cut, or maybe he’d receive an offer like the one given to former Patriots defensive lineman Kyle Love after his diabetes diagnosis:  Retire for a year, and then come back once the legal situation has concluded.

With Hernandez being one of the best players on the team, cutting him become less viable.  Especially since that would prevent the team from ever recovering any of the multi-million-dollar signing bonus Hernandez received in 2012.

117 responses to “Timing of Hernandez incident creates dilemma for NFL, Patriots

  1. Hey, do you want to know who really killed Nicole Simpson???… it was Aaron Hernandez.

    Rumor has it they found Jimmy Hoffa under Aaron Hernandez’s house.

    I hear Aaron Hernandez called Harvey Keitel and asked him to clean his house “Wolf” style.

    Turns out Ray Lewis really was innocent after all… Aaron Hernandez killed that guy.

    Time Life just released a statement yesterday afternoon…

    It said based on recent circumstances it reviewed the Zapruder film and found Aaron Hernandez behind the grassy knoll. Apparently he killed Kennedy.

  2. I heard Belichick is going to waive him and the Jags will claim him and pick up his contract like they’ve done with all the other waived Patriots. Problem solved. What a genius!

  3. Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, Richard Sherman, Michael Vick, MJD, and all the other recent media darlings are breathing a sigh of relief the last few days

  4. I’m sure the family of the guy that got executed really cares about Hernandez and his availability for training camp.

    They care about that about as much as I do.

  5. Florio, you are a lawyer, and a football writer. How could you possible believe that the Patriots are worried about training camp? Aaron Hernandaz will likely never play a down of football again and you are talking about practice? Not a murder. Not a career. Not a game. Not the integrity of a franchise. You are talking about practice?

  6. They have someone on their team who either murdered someone or covered up the murder of someone. They will just cut him!!! Are you insane? Training camp? This guy is not going to any Patriot training camp ever again.

  7. Belichick is a genious. He had one of his players murder someone to detract from the Tim Tebow media attention.

  8. Hey, do you want to know who really killed Nicole Simpson???… it was Aaron Hernandez.

    Rumor has it they found Jimmy Hoffa under Aaron Hernandez’s house.

    I hear Aaron Hernandez called Harvey Keitel and asked him to clean his house “Wolf” style.

    Turns out Ray Lewis really was innocent after all… Aaron Hernandez killed that guy.

    Time Life just released a statement yesterday afternoon…

    It said based on recent circumstances it reviewed the Zapruder film and found Aaron Hernandez behind the grassy knoll. Apparently he killed Kennedy.

    What an idiotic comment. Hernandez, at the very least, is involved with an unsavory group of people, one of whom probably killed Odin Lloyd. If any working Joe committed did the same thing he’d be fired in a day. I’ll give the Patriots a chance to do the right thing, but let’s not pretend the media is overblowing this situation. If you think Hernandez wasn’t involved in this murder, then you are truly naive.

  9. If he’s charged and/or indicted with anything related to a murder case, there’s no way Goodell can let him go to training camp. Innocent until proven guilty applies to the legal system, not businesses.

  10. Especially since that would prevent the team from ever recovering any of the multi-million-dollar signing bonus Hernandez received in 2012.
    ———————————————–

    At least they can still hang their hat on the fact they’re paying less for Tebow than the Jets are.

  11. Don’t even get me started on how much of an inconvience this has been for the murder victim and his family.

  12. On a related note, Roger just suspended Sean Payton for another year, “just because”.

  13. As a Jets fan if this was somebody on the Jets team. The media would blame Woody,Rex and anybody else they could speak of. But since this is the Pats they going to blame who should be blamed that Aaron. Plus as a Jet fan I would take the Jets circus over this stuff.

  14. He should not be allowed near team facilities, the stadium, or any team activities until this is resolved. If he misses the season, so be it. If he’s guilty of obstruction and even accessory to murder, he should never play again.

  15. I can see it now:

    Judge: Will the defendant please rise…

    Hernandez: “f— you Judge, I’ll f— you up!“

  16. Forgetting Hernandez, who apparently thinks “Pulp Fiction” is his mentor in life…..Pats need help AND a huge boost in image.
    Since Amendola is injury prone, they should get Stokley, he was a top 10 NFL slot for the Broncos, 52% of targets went for a first down, caught 45 of 47 catchable balls, plus, he is one of the best human beings to ever put on pads.

    Signed,
    Armchair GM.

  17. How about when you bring up an actual NFL murderer like Rae Caruth instead of using Ray Lewis every single time. You promote the fact that he was charged with something but NEVER seem to mention that ALL 3 people Ray, two friends had ALL CHARGES of Murder Dropped because there was NO evidence. As for the white suit idiots. Ray was actually wearing a huge purple pimp coat the night of the fight and many reports believe that’s what lead to the start of the fight.

    Ray was charged for obstruction because he would not speak to police and chose to take his constitutional rights. then in an effort to not make APD not look like the IDIOT star seekers they were he AGREED to be charged and convicted of obstruction of justice. This was not a plea deal rather him agreeing to pay the price for his silence so the NFL could accept him back in the league and basically admit the ONLY thing he did wrong was not speak. He’s acknowledged this and gave prosecutors all the information he could to make a case against his friends because he KNEW there was no case!

    So 13 years later people STILL want to bring this up as he has something to hide. Stop also comparing vick, WHO KILLED DOGS NOT HUMANS to this hernandez. To date the only case that compares is Rae Caruth so please use that reference going forward.

    Tbow ain’t going to be a TE they are going to need a back-up because brady is going to be killed this year without his welkerand his tight ends.

  18. but what about the “Patriot Way”??? and the model franchise? the genius in the hoodie…?? and “bob” kraft??

  19. The dude just killed somebody and you’re saying the timing was bad?

    When could the timing be good?

  20. Very inconsiderate of Aron to schedule his murder so close to training camp. Kids these days.

  21. There is no dilemma. The precedent was set in the Vick case. Hernandez will be arrested, Goodell will suspend him indefinitely and immediately.

  22. History is now telling us that Aaron Hernandez will be Super Bowl MVP next year but on the other hand history is telling us the chargers are winning the Super Bowl (eagles home opener)

  23. Just watched the “media stakeout” above.
    OMG, they are truly under the BIG TENT. Lions, tigers, elephants, you name it.
    Makes anything the Jets did look like a fly-by-night carnival.

  24. “Vick didn’t fight it. In this case, perhaps Hernandez wouldn’t, either.”

    ——————————–

    No, but he would fight Welker. He would **** him up.

  25. Sorry to put a damper on the fun and hijinks (and I DO realize it’s all in fun), but we should remember a man has died and a family is in pain.

  26. Anything short of Rothlesbergers suspension confirms the favoritism Uncle Roger has for his beloved Pats.

  27. How soon before Talib beats a woman and adds to the circus in New England?????

    Bill Belicheat is a genius, wash, rinse, repeat.

  28. Can we maybe wait on all the “his career is over”, “send him to prison”, “Patriots should get rid of him” talk until it’s actually proven in court that he did actually kill someone? It’s entirely possible his friends were the ones who did it and he just tried to cover it up to help them, in which case he was stupid and guilty of a lesser crime, but certainly not one that would or should end his career

    If he murdered someone, then absolutely go nuts and say what you want, but maybe everyone should wait and let the whole story come out before convicting this guy in the court of public opinion

  29. Eric Ballard if healthy again and Tim Tebow if he can learn the position in a few months would make a solid replacement pair at TE until they get Gronkowski back.

  30. Give me a break. Favoritism? Patriots were unduly punished by Goodell during Spygate, being docked the draft pick and being fined. How bogus.

    Patriots had to take a hit from every other team out there that was also videotaping opponents. Again, Goodell sent that memo about videotaping to EVERY team in the NFL so I’m assuming there were multiple teams videotaping. Not every other team, though, had a rat like Eric Mangini to throw his boss under the table.

  31. The idiot that thinks Ray Lewis was completely innocent in that murder trial needs to learn how to research a topic. He may not have killed anyone per se, but he helped cover it up and the case is still open today. I wonder how you would feel if it was someone you loved? Meh

    You can take the boy outta the hood, but you can’t take the hood outta the boy… This jerk is going down.

  32. Even with all of the attention focused on the Patriots, the Jets are still the worst NFL franchise ever (besides the eagles, who haven’t even won a superbowl hahahahahaha) But I would rather watch the Eagles lose on Sunday then the Jets. Jets fans are terrible people compared to Giants fans, which are the class of New York, I know that doesn’t say much.

  33. Well this certainly makes everyone forget about SPYGATE.

    I wonder why Hernandez destroyed the cell phone and his surveillance system???….hmmmm

    One would think he was trying to hide something.

  34. The Pats run the NFL get over it. You’re all here gathered to bash them just like you do on every article. There’s no more commented on posts than the ones about the Pats. All so you all can collectively hate you’re always hating, get over it. You all can’t wait until the Pats fall but its never going to happen and we all laugh at how sad you all are.

    The fact that you all believe anything the media reports just proves how dumb and desperate you all are. The media is milking this because its the Patriots they know they can get coverage on anything they post because all of you will believe anything. Until he’s guilty he’s innocent get over it.

  35. jamaltimore says:
    Jun 21, 2013 3:29 PM

    Ray was charged for obstruction because he would not speak to police and chose to take his constitutional rights. then in an effort to not make APD not look like the IDIOT star seekers they were he AGREED to be charged and convicted of obstruction of justice.
    ————————————————
    So let me get this straight, did you actually just say Ray agreed to be charged and convicted of obstruction of justice to keep the Atlana PD from looking like idiot star seekers? Wow, and your calling the APD idiots.

  36. ramrene says:
    Jun 21, 2013 3:04 PM
    Hey, do you want to know who really killed Nicole Simpson???… it was Aaron Hernandez.

    Rumor has it they found Jimmy Hoffa under Aaron Hernandez’s house.

    I hear Aaron Hernandez called Harvey Keitel and asked him to clean his house “Wolf” style.

    Turns out Ray Lewis really was innocent after all… Aaron Hernandez killed that guy.

    Time Life just released a statement yesterday afternoon…

    It said based on recent circumstances it reviewed the Zapruder film and found Aaron Hernandez behind the grassy knoll. Apparently he killed Kennedy.

    40 215

    ¡Hey ramrene!

    I’ll try to explain this to you, dum-dum:
    For irony to be “funny”, it actually has to be funny. Nothing you wrote has any humor in it, ergo: IT ISN’T FUNNY.

    Think I’m wrong? Look at your score!

  37. “It’s entirely possible his friends were the ones who did it and he just tried to cover it up to help them, in which case he was stupid and guilty of a lesser crime, but certainly not one that would or should end his career”
    __________________________________

    Obstruction of justice is a crime that Hernandez committed by knowingly destroying electronic equipment that contained evidence. The crime of obstruction of justice in support of a murder can carry up to 25 years in some states.

    I think it’s safe to say Hernandez’s career is indeed in jeopardy of being at an end, even if he didn’t pull the trigger.

  38. First Bears TE/FB/whatever Evan Rodriguez getting arrested twice, now this.

    The theme of this year’s offseason fiascos seems to be “Hispanic tight ends getting into trouble”

    Buck the trend, Tony Gonzalez, buck the trend

  39. The smash video is going to show Godfather Tebow ordering the hit and Hernandez carrying it out.

  40. Goodell will let him play because hes a patriot. If he played in any other team he not be allowed back until the issue was resolved.

  41. We like to use Ray Lewis as a comparison because it wrankles the feathers of his followers. Lewis’s big mouth and in your face style feels like an assault to the listener. It makes us feel better to strike back where ever and when ever the opportunity opens. Ray Caruth is a whisper compared to mega mouth Lewis. He also has few to no fans or supporters to wrankle either.

  42. thesteelers says:Jun 21, 2013 3:06 PM

    The Pats have a murderer and a gimp at tight end. LOL!

    ———————————————————-

    steelers have a TE that blew out his ACL in December and a blocking TE nobody else wanted that has 49 career receptions in 6yr career. Now that’s funny.

    ———————————————————-
    Ray Lewis was charged with obstruction of justice because the victims blood was found in the limo, and nobody could find the bloody white suit.

    ———————————————————-Not defending Hernandez and I’m sure the Pats will cut their losses on this guy and go after his bonus, just based on this situation and all the things that have come about his lifestyle, which the Pats didn’t do the due diligence to find out about. Their bad. Still, obstruction is very hard to prove in this case, bad as it looks, because they can’t prove what’s on the tape. DA is probably just looking for someone to crack and make a deal.

    ———————————————————

    Haters, it’s to be expected that you would pile on. I’m sure you’ve been waiting 10 yrs for this. Makes you look even more pathetic. Keep on rooting for the teams that the Pats have trampled over the yrs; Rams, Steelers, Dolphins, Bills, Jets Colts, Chargers, et al. That should cover 95% of the haters. Unfortunately, your teams are still going nowhere.

  43. Sorry, forgot you raider fans, that still, out of ignorance, don’t understand the Tuck Rule was called correctly. Just as dumb as Rams fans that continue to maintain the Pats taped practices or walkthroughs. Even losers that take the time to post the same thing, every post every day(like jimmyt and mattwalshvideo, for example; sad) Pats still go deep into the playoffs this yr. Someday, the same people that pick their demise every yr will be right, but not yet

  44. lionfish57 says:
    Jun 21, 2013 3:53 PM
    Dump Hernandez and get Tebow to play tight end. That would solve everybody’s problems…
    ————————-
    It wouldn’t solve the dead guy’s problem of being dead.

  45. I don’t think a lot of you are getting it.

    The process has to play out, of course, but this guy is gone. Done.

    Not “how long a suspension?”

  46. What an unfortunate dilemma for the Pats and the league, as opposed to the DEAD guy!

    Does this site think about reality before coming up with titles?

  47. If he really is guilty, he can always run off to Hong Kong to hang out with Edward Snowden. It’ll be years before the US can extradite him.

    Wonder if they play (American) football over there.

  48. The Patriots may be concerned with dueling media stakeouts of reporters looking for Tebow/Hernandez info. Easy solution:

    Early the first day of camp, have an employee walk out to the throng of “reporters” with an envelope. Proclaim that there is new information concerning Hernandez and Tebow contained within the envelope and that the team will not answer any questions or discuss the matters further. Then toss the envelope into the middle of the pack and walk away. After the bloodbath for the exclusives, the battered winner emerges with the envelope, opens it and finds the following typed message: “Neither guy is here today”

  49. “Obstruction of Justice” sure seems to be code for “moneygrab”, if you’re an attorney.

    What doesnt seem to get much attention is:

    A) Who, or where are the guys he was with on the night in question?

    And most importantly…..

    B) How in the heck is this guy not in jail for shooting someone in the face? IN THE FACE?!!!

    Sure, the possibility exists this could be another money grab by the victim, but c’mon, thats serious stuff.

    Why cant Jim Nantz do something stupid and jeopardize his career?

    Im thinking this Hernandez situation is gonna get very ugly.

  50. The guy Hernandez shot in the face told the cops he didn’t know who did it. Now the guy is bringing a civil suit so Hernadez can pay him off on the up and up, saying it was an accident. You can’t just cut someone a 100k check.

  51. Your right…I realize most Patriot fans do it to just annoy Ravens fans when they compare Hernandez to Ray Lewis.

    However, what is Florio’s excuse? Oh I get it CBX Patriots hates the Ravens. I don’t blame them. It must burn Florio that the Ravens own the Patriots.

  52. As a Pats fan I hope they cut this ‘key’ player. Maybe if a coach somewhere along the way didn’t treat him as a ‘key’ player and held him accountable he wouldn’t be facing life in prison. Or he would already have started serving his sentence.

  53. Ok, Baltimore fans. The reason people are comparing this to Ray Lewis is because its a very similar case. We’ll probably never know whether it was Hernandez or one of his boys who pulled the trigger, just like we’ll never know if it was Lewis or his two buddies who stabbed those guys (my gut inclination on both cases is that the non-famous-athletes/meal-tickets did the dirty work). However, in both cases, it looks very clear that both guys at the very least went out of their way to destroy evidence and hinder the justice system, which in a murder case is a very serious crime. Hernandez is innocent until proven guilty and its important to let the investigation play out, but lets be honest, he’s acting like a guilty man.

    There is, however, one major difference between Hernandez and Lewis. Barring any dramatic changes/new evidence that unquestioningly prove his innocence, I am absolutely done with this guy and so are the vast majority of Patriots fans. I can’t bring myself to root for someone intimately involved with a murder, no matter how good at football he is. Safe to say there wont be an Aaron Hernandez statue outside of Gillette Stadium.

  54. NE is in real trouble, especially if Gronkoski’s health keeps being an issue. Brady is already showing signs of aging, he’s shying away from contact and far more prone to panicky mistakes than he ever was. Now they’re thinner at the skill positions than ever before. The nonsense about Tebow at TE is just that, nonsense. He’s never played TE before, especially not in a system that utilizes the position like NE does. Pats fans better hope and pray that Gronkowski can go because with no Gronk and no Hernandez they have no one other than a delicate, injury prone WR and Brady.

  55. It really is a shame to see yet another talented athlete waste his life like this. Hernandez was blessed with the ability to play football at a high level while making millions of dollars to set himself up for life. And now he’s ruined it because he couldn’t stay away from trouble. Such a shame, but I have no sympathy whatsoever for him.

  56. The Genius of BB will be when the Pats go 12-4
    and are in the hunt again after completely changing their
    WR core and losing 2 of the best TE in football..the machine rolls on!

  57. florioruserious13 says:
    Jun 21, 2013 4:40 PM
    Aaron Hernandez didn’t break his phone. He asked Tebow to throw it to him, but it hit his video security system

    Ok that’s funny

    albertmn says:
    Jun 21, 2013 4:47 PM
    lionfish57 says:
    Jun 21, 2013 3:53 PM
    Dump Hernandez and get Tebow to play tight end. That would solve everybody’s problems…
    ————————-
    It wouldn’t solve the dead guy’s problem of being dead

    Tebow can reurect him he is Jesus you know

  58. Anyone who assumes that Pats fans in Boston are calling in support of Hernandez is mistaken. I have been listening to a lot of sports radio this week (what an insane week to be a NE sports fan!) I have heard very little in the way of ‘give him the benefit of doubt’ or ‘innocent till proven…’

    I loved watching the guy play… I looked forward to his career and seeing how Bill would use him and Gronk together. The offense has been drawn up to take advantage of these two athletes and I was intrigued to see it unfold.

    Yes, I’m very disappointed but a man is dead and Aaron is either the killer or is okay with covering for the killer. He’s gone. He’ll be a sad footnote in Pats history. But no way will we ever see him in a Pats uniform again. The things that have come out about him this week are shocking and deeply disturbing.

    No, I’m not hearing ANYONE who thinks he’ll be back, or WANTS him. He’s on his own.

  59. If this dude is innocent, he’s taking the Ray Lewis felony probation deal. If not, you know the deal. Completely innocent people don’t smash evidence. Maybe his friends did it. But he should have told the police by now and would others would be in jail. That’s not happening, so I think we know something stinks.

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