The Patriots have taken some criticism in the last couple weeks, as stories about Aaron Hernandez’s checkered past have led to questions about why New England drafted him, and why the team gave him a $40 million contract extension last year. But the man who oversees the NFL’s security department says that criticism of the Patriots is unfair.
NFL security director Jeff Miller told Alex Marvez of FOX Sports that no issues the league or the teams knew of with Hernandez suggested that he could be a murderer.
“That’s a difficult criticism to make of any club,” Miller said. “It’s hard to predict how a young man is going to perform and mature. Certainly there are players who have been drafted where teams know they are taking a calculated risk. Sometimes, the risk is greater than others. Hindsight is always 20/20 in a situation where a player gets into serious trouble and people say, ‘See, I knew this was going to happen.’ Even though I’m sure there are a lot of clubs that have concerns about certain players going into the draft, if those players are drafted, the teams try to work with them through their player engagement and security personnel to take the steps necessary to prevent the kinds of things that can cause big problems to a player and a team.”
Teams always want to take the steps necessary to prevent big problems off the field, but in the case of Hernandez, Miller thinks a first-degree murder charge is something no one could have seen coming.