Patriots owner Robert Kraft was willing to admit he had been “duped” by Aaron Hernandez.
And as part of Kraft explaining that himself to the Boston media yesterday, the team was good enough to provide more evidence of the tight end-turned-murder suspect’s duplicity.
The team gave the assembled media a copy of the 2010 letter Hernandez sent to the Patriots (and presumably every other team in the league) about what he referred to as “questions about my alleged use of marijuana.”
That “alleged” use involved failed drug tests at Florida, which coach Urban Meyer will passionately dispute the count of, if not the greater issues involved.
Regarding those failed tests, Hernandez wrote (with what appears to be significant help from the agency whose letterhead it was written on) a convincing plea for why he should be trusted.
“Any information I volunteer to you about my past will be looked at with great skepticism as I am trying to get drafted as high as possible by a NFL team,” the letter states. “As such, I thought that the best way to answer your questions and your concerns was to make a very simple proposition. If you draft me as a member of the New England Patriots, I will willfully submit to a bi-weekly drug test throughout my rookie season (8 drug tests during the 2010 regular season). In addition, I will tie any guaranteed portion of my 2010 compensation to these drug tests and reimburse the team a pro-rata amount for any failed drug test. My agents have explained that a direct forfeiture provision in my contract along these lines would violate the CBA rules. However, I have instructed them to be creative in finding a contract structure that would work or in the worst case scenario, I would donate the pro-rata portion of my guaranteed money to the team’s choice of charities. My point is simple – if I fail a drug test, I do not deserve that portion of the money.
“I realize that this offer is somewhat unorthodox, but it is also the only way I could think of to let you know how serious I am about reaching my potential in the NFL.”
It’s the kind of overboard offer that someone makes when they know they’re trying to sell you something. It’s the car salesman offering the free underbody treatment at the last minute while the finance guy’s sitting with him, to try to get you to sign the dotted line.
We also don’t know whether the Patriots took him up on the offer.
The letter also closed with a chilling phrase, saying: “I ask you to trust me when I say you have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to me and the use of recreational drugs.”
Little did anyone know at the time that would be the least of their worries.