At at time when the authorities and the Patriots have taken stunning and decisive action against Aaron Hernandez, the National Football League has done nothing.
The NFL will continue to do nothing, until it has a reason to do something.
“NFL clubs were advised today that if Aaron Hernandez enters into a player contract prior to the resolution of the charges pending against him, the contract will not be approved or take effect until Commissioner Roger Goodell holds a hearing,” the league said in a statement forwarded to PFT by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. “The purpose of the hearing would be to determine whether Hernandez should be suspended or face other action prior to the charges being resolved.”
The league’s position makes sense. Why suspend a guy who is unemployed, and currently unemployable? The league’s stance makes teams even less likely to be interested in Hernandez, since it makes clear that, if anyone tries to give the guy a job, they’ll first have to deal with persuading Goodell to let them employ Hernandez.
As a result, Hernandez’s status won’t be relevant unless and until he is cleared on murder charges. And things could get interesting if he’s acquitted in an O.J. Simpson-style outcome, where half of the country or more believes that, even though he was found not guilty, he still did it.