Earlier this week, Bengals owner Mike Brown climbed onto a soapbox and declared that his organization had no place for Aaron Hernandez when he entered the league via the 2010 draft.
Setting aside for now the many red-flagged (and/or orange-jumpsuited) players who have gotten second (and third, fourth, and fifth) chances from Brown’s Bengals, he currently employs a player whose name has emerged in an unsolved shooting possibly involving Hernandez.
According to ABC News, a man in the car that was shot up nearly six years ago in Gainesville initially identified Reggie Nelson as being with the shooter.
That’s Reggie Nelson. As in current Bengals safety Reggie Nelson.
While Randall Cason changed his story two days later, something stinks about the entire situation. A shooting clearly happened. Nearly six years later, no one has answered for it.
There’s enough information for Brown, if he wants to give any credence to his aversion to Hernandez, to investigate whether Nelson was involved. If, after all, the stuff that already was available to NFL teams three years ago made Brown turn up his nose at Hernandez, the possibility that Nelson at a minimum knows who was responsible for the shooting should be enough to alarm Brown — and to make him want to get to the bottom of it.
The first step, after getting acquainted with the basic facts, would be a meeting with Nelson. And if Brown believes Nelson is telling anything other than the truth, Brown should cut him.
Don’t hold your breath on any of that happening. But if Brown wants to pat himself on the back for not picking Hernandez, Brown needs to be willing to apply the same standard that kept Hernandez out of the organization to every other member of it.
Including the man who may have been present when Hernandez possibly committed his first shooting.