Patriots will now be second-guessed for drafting, paying Hernandez


As tight end Aaron Hernandez faces tough questions regarding the death of Odin Lloyd and, eventually, the alleged shooting of Alexander Bradley, the Patriots are facing heavy criticism for taking a chance on Hernandez in the fourth round of the 2010 draft and giving him a $41 million contract last year.

The Pats took a pair of calculated risks with tight ends in 2010, drafting Rob Gronkowski in round two and Hernandez in round four.  For Gronk, the concern was his health.  For Hernandez, off-field issues provided a red flag.  Through 2011, it appeared that the Pats got lucky as to both, prompting the team to give each of them new, big-money deals.  In recent weeks, that luck has run out.

Gantt pointed out earlier today that Hernandez’s history is now being revisited, adding to things the Pats knew or should have known before picking and then paying him.  On the other side of the coin, as reported by Alex Marvez of, is news that Hernandez generated a perfect score on a predraft psychological profile.

It’s not clear what that means — other than perhaps that a poor correlation exists between the test and reality.  If, after all, the test is aimed at predicting potential problems, Hernandez shouldn’t have generated a perfect score, if it turns out that he has broken any laws or violated the league’s conduct policy.

Regardless, plenty of teams opted not to put too much stock in that test.  Otherwise Hernandez would have been picked much higher than he was.  The Ravens, for example, drafted Ed Dickson in round three.  The decision to pass on Hernandez for Dickson when taking a tight end may have looked, to borrow Joe Linta’s term, dumb before this week.

Now, it looks like yet another good move by the defending NFL champions.

For the Patriots, it’ll simply be just another mistake, if Hernandez ends up being unavailable for all or part of 2013 or beyond.  Winning three Super Bowls in four years gives a team license to roll the dice that way.

And coach Bill Belichick has rolled the bones plenty of times in recent years, from Albert Haynesworth to Chad Johnson to most recently Tim Tebow.  Plenty of Belichick’s decisions didn’t work out.  Hernandez and Gronkowski could end up being a pair of moves that worked out so well at first that the mistakes were compounded by the investment of millions.

79 responses to “Patriots will now be second-guessed for drafting, paying Hernandez

  1. This is such a stupid comment… Hernandez was a 4tb round choice; the odds a 4th rounder sticks on a roster past their rookie contract is in the teens. Dear god the Patriot hate is unreal here

  2. Not to mention the cap hit they’ll still have to take for a guy who will only be playing the prison guards if he ever plays football again.

  3. Question: EVEN IF Gronk and Hernandez were choir boys, I’m still trying to figure out why the Patriots chose to extend them when they did. I understand locking up a player the year before his contract year – but didn’t Gronk and A-Hern each still have multiple years on their contracts?

    In other words, it seems like the upside was virtually non-existent – but the downside risk was prodigous.

    Even aside from Gronk’s struggles with injuries and Hernandez’s immense legal concerns — it’s just hard to see the upside in their having did that when they did.

  4. Uh, we’ve already reached the point of overkill with respect to meaningless posts from you folks on this subject. This one is totally and embarrassingly unnecessary.

    Do you wonder when you lost all credibility?

  5. as they should be. if this were to be concerning several other teams you would be crucifying the decision and the front office relentlessly

  6. Come on now.

    They spent a 2nd and 4th rounder on two 1st round talents with question marks. If just ONE of them hits, the team has struck gold.

    You want to tell me any team in the league wouldn’t happily have traded a 2nd and 4th rounder for a crazy talented 1st round tight end with NO question marks?

    They gambled, it paid off huge, and now 3 years later the initial red flags are cropping up at the same time.

    But that is still hardly a loss.

  7. BB has had carte blanche since Bledsoe was hurt. Name one of borderline HoF he’s drafted/developed in 10+ years. I’ll say maybe Wilfork and thats about it.

  8. This is such a stupid comment… Hernandez was a 4tb round choice; the odds a 4th rounder sticks on a roster past their rookie contract is in the teens. Dear god the Patriot hate is unreal here

    Well the Patriots are very hateable. Also, I believe he was saying the mistake was with the $41M extension, not the round drafted in. Then again, all I can do is read, so what do I know?

  9. You guys do know his brother isn’t all that bright either….

    A couple years ago a QB for a team he was coaching against dropped a play chart on the field.

    He picked it up and USED it against them.

    This may sound like a great idea but he was the Southington, CT HIGH SCHOOL football coach at the time and drew a suspension for it.

    Ethics run deep in this family….

  10. I think the meat and potatoes of this is not that ALL other teams were more afraid to pull the trigger(ha-ha) on these guys but instead the overall hook the Pats got themselves into for doing so for only 2011.

  11. I admit, his actions make him a target, A very big target. But I find the Patriots silence even more surprising. They are not the least bit surprised that it has come to this.

  12. Did he help win them a championship so far there? NO. Therefore regretful pick considering they still owe him more than 30million

  13. This is such a stupid comment


    No comments about the Pat are stupid.

    Especially considering Belicheats play-off record after Weiss and Crenel left!

  14. Plenty of Belichick’s decisions didn’t work out.
    You bet your sweet bippee on that!
    Payton still pinches himself every morning over that narcisstic fourth down call.

  15. I don’t agree that getting a perfect score on a psychological exam should be a predictor as to whether they will ever break a law. I believe that some people are just evil and do evil things.

    Also if he did shoot that man maybe there was some reason for it that we don’t understand. Maybe that man was having an affair with his girlfriend or something that caused him to fly into a fit of rage. In other words even a psychologically fit person can give way too a crime of passion so to speak.

  16. Love the whole Belichick can’t draft rhetoric by the haters while blatantly ignoring players like Mankins, Wilfork, Mayo, Seymour, Samuel, Koppen, Ridley, etc. All draft picks by BB. You don’t win an avg of almost 12 games per year for 13 seasons picking untalented players. Look at any teams draft picks during the same period and you’ll see tons of misses. Take a lap haters.

  17. Is it just me or does everyone read comments from Pats fans using a Boston accent like Matt Damon hadin Good Will Hunting?

    “How ’bout dem apples??” …Hilarious.

    Pats fans… Feels like the beginning of the end, doesn’t it? HAHA… Hang on for the ride, because here comes the next few decades of your life.

    #Been-there #Billsfan

  18. Let’s go easy on the ‘Ozzie is a genius’ routine as far as Dickson and Pitta go. The Ravens were in the market for a TE that yr and wanted Gronk in the worst way. The Pats traded up one spot ahead of the Ravens to take Gronk. The Ravens took Sergio Kindle with the next pick. How’d that work out? After the Ravens took Dickson in the 3rd rnd, the Pats took Hernandez in the 4th rnd, one pick before the Ravens took Pitta. So far, advantage Pats; BIG. Gronk is not dead and Hernandez is not in jail, yet. It’s a long way to Sept. Let’s see how things play out, despite all the amateur doctors and lawyers out there, who maybe watch too much TV in the offseason.

  19. Isn’t this America? Or did I wake up somewhere else? It’s innocent until proven guilty. Let’s not start lighting the fires just yet…

  20. Sure, plenty of teams do indeed elect not to roll the dice. Perhaps that best explains why they can’t win the game.

  21. Not trying to say the ravens only draft choir boys , but I distinctly remember when they drafted Pitta and Dickson and some people were scratching their heads in Baltimore. Gronk is the one Ravens fans wanted , but still, just another instance of the ravens doing their homework as arguably the best drafting franchise in the freekin league….

  22. Signing them to extensions may be second guessed but I think they were bargains for where they were drafted. Gronk has a back issue since college and he is still an elite tight end. He has health issues now but the broken arm could heal and it’ll be the last we’ve heard of it. Hernandez maybe done in the NFL but not many teams would pass up a guy who can put up those numbers over 3 years.

  23. @ialwaywantedtobeabanker;

    The upside was the Pats got both a lot cheaper than they would have if they let those players get to the last yr of their contract or free agency. It’s a gamble for both sides, Gronk and Hernandez left money on the table for the security. At the time, Gronk hadn’t broken his arm 2x and Hernandez was a choirboy. Now it looks bad for the Pats, in hindsight. It especially looks like Hernandez sold a bill of goods about his lifestyle the Pats should have done more due diligence on. They lose on that one.

    As an example, think the Ravens wish they paid Flacco early instead of after his record setting playoff run? Roll the dice, win some, lose some.

  24. Roast them now and everytime they miss on a guy
    but please return and give props when they are in
    the AFC championship again…

  25. Belichick can’t draft? Are you crazy? What about McCourty, Vollmer Wilfork, Mankins, Mayo all pro bowlers or ex all pro’s drafted by BB. Even players that aren’t on the team anymore Asante Samuel Richard Seymour are all great players that BB drafted and that’s only a few. Think again dumbass

  26. This has nothing to do with the Patriots abd I hate the Patriots as much as the next guy. Unless they coach their players to be idiots off the field, every man is responsible for themselves.

    Some people are just stupid and obviously Hernandez is “stupider” than most.


  27. “Winning three Super Bowls in four years gives a team license to roll the dice that way.”

    You realize that was almost 10 years ago, right?

  28. Actually Pitta went in round 4, and I remember hearing that Belichick took both those guys from under Ozzie Newsome’s nose. Even if that was true, I’m glad we got Pitta and Dickson. If Dickson had Pitta’s hands he would be better than Gronk or Hernandez. Just the same both those guys helped the Ravens win the SuperBowl. Good picks by Newsome. This Hernandez case is getting more interesting by the day.

  29. All I’m saying is, the Ravens selected Dennis Pitta one pick after Hernandez in the 2010 draft.

  30. How much you want to bet the Pats completely covered them$$elves to recoup in event of Hernandez (allegedly) flaming out just like this?

    Or that AH had an advance copy of the psychological profile exam & yet wasn’t smart enough to blow a question or two?

  31. Pats gave Hernandez a 12.5 mil signing bonus. My guess is exonerated or not, the Pats cut ties and go after that money

  32. nghtrder169, you might call drafting Brady a “luck pick”. Others might call it “drafting for value”. But clearly nobody knew how he’d turn out, or he’d be the #1 pick (even if you though he’d be there at #199, you wouldn’t risk it).

    However, immediately recognizing what the Patriots had, and keeping him on the roster as a *fourth* QB, while most teams only keep 2-3 (and Belichick’s been keeping only two recently), was a shrewd move, and deserves some credit.

  33. its a good thing he was allegedly involved in shooting someone in the face and destroying evidence instead of getting payments for performance, like big catches, big blocks, big hit etc…then he’d be in real trouble.

    What I find amusing, the majority of you and your fake disgust over the saints so called ” bounty ” are now standing on the other side of the fence.

    What a great world we live in.

  34. I still see ‘buttfumble’ references from the pats trolls 7 months later. you don’t get to call off the dogs in a day or 2. NE hears about this for the whole season at least. top 3 receivers potentially gone….priceless.

  35. tfbuckfutter says:
    Jun 20, 2013 8:56 PM
    Come on now.

    They spent a 2nd and 4th rounder on two 1st round talents with question marks. If just ONE of them hits, the team has struck gold.

    u want to draft a pollock thats your problem. hey speakin of bigotry, pft….how come theres no daily “redskin name is offensive” today? i miss it already.

  36. You can’t fault their draft because they have had several highly productive years.

    You can question the contract extension, except that everyone knows other teams would have done the same thing unless there was some body of information they all had.
    Second guessing is for people who never have the burden of making decisions they know they will be judged for.

  37. But Bill Belicheat is a genius, I’ve heard it for 10 years now from the dopes in the media.

    No one has blown more draft picks than Belicheat, if he didn’t luck into Tom Brady and cheat he’d be the defensive coordinator at UMAss right now.

    Biggest fraud in sports.

  38. Convert Tebow to tight end. That would be his best chance of making the team. Multiple positions on Bills team makes him worth keeping around.

  39. maybe because they have zero class and they only care about winning.. not being loyal to any of their players or being an organization with any morals whatsoever

  40. I’m NO Patriots fan, but why would they be second guessed? Both players are very good. One got injured. One got in trouble. Big deal, happens all the time.

  41. I don’t think you can fault the Patriots for drafting Gronk and Hernandez. They were able to pick up first round talent in later rounds. And it initially paid big dividends on the field. However, they now have egg on their face after extending these 2 players. I’m sure the Pat’s front office is kicking themselves for not letting these two guys play out their rookie contracts. The position of tight end is quickly turning from an asset to a liability. Somewhere, Brady is crying.

  42. The Pats gave Hernandez a contract extension before the 2012 season because he would’ve asked for more $$$$ than Gronk had he replicated his 2011 season (98 catches, 1213 yards, 8 TD’s in 17 games including playoffs at 22 years old).

    Hindsight is 20/20 on this one, Florio.

  43. Yeah, even as a Patriot hater I’m finding it hard to blame them for taking him in the 4th rd. And didn’t the Ravens take Pitta like 1 pick after the Pats took Gronk? I mean, Pitta has been injured a lot too ya know. Gronk in the 2nd still looks like a steal to me & without a freaking murder, no one would’ve been the wiser on Hernandez. Kinda hard to predict that one.

  44. Really? What an stupid thing to say…If 31 other NFL teams had been able to look at Hernandez’s 2+ years in the league and see what he would do on the field, you don’t think everyone of those teams would have drafted him in the 1st or 2nd round? And he’s not guilty of anything until it is definitively decided in court that he did something…Stop condemning him based on bits and pieces of a story that’s developing

  45. The Pats have become an arrogant organization, thinking that they are immune to the adverse effects of having players with character deficiencies.

    The fact that it worked with Corey Dillon and Randy Moss has made them think anyone will fall in line once they put on a Pats uniform. It’s hubristic.

  46. titansbro says:
    Jun 20, 2013 11:42 PM

    “without a freaking murder, no one would’ve been the wiser on Hernandez. Kinda hard to predict that one.”


    with the word on Hernandez being that he had gang affilations, it should not have been that hard to figure out he would be caught up in something like this. That’s why 31 other teams passed on him several times. Get a clue, dude….

  47. Where are all the genius comments now? The list of failed players grows, next up Talib.

  48. Patriots extended their contracts so that they wouldn’t have to deal with two huge paydays at the same time. It’s a gamble for sure, but their production was nothing short of phenomenal and they couldn’t risk losing both of them to other teams.

    Pats can’t win here. If they extend high performing players early it’s “a questionable move”. If they wait, then they’re just yanking the chains of loyal, productive players. Make up your mind people.

  49. TitansBro,

    The Ravens took Pitta 1 pick after the Pats took Hernandez in the 4th. Everyone forgets that Dickson was taken a round ahead of Pitta.

    The top 7 TEs that year were:
    #21 – Jermaine Gresham
    #42 – Rob Gronkowski
    #70 – Ed Dickson
    #93 – Tony Moeaki
    #95 – Jimmy Graham (KC fans love this one)
    #113 – Aaron Hernandez
    #114 – Dennis Pitta

  50. titansbro, Pitta missed some games his rookie year with a concussion but has been on the field since. Todd Heap was also the Ravens starting TE that year as well so he wasn’t even missed a ton then. That said, he still holds the BYU records for most career receptions and Cam Cameron isn’t around to dumb down the offense anymore. It wouldn’t surprise me if he came close to 1,000 yards receiving this year. As I said before, Pitta was a 4th rd pick as well, 1 pick after Hernandez.

  51. I noticed that ever since spygate, the Patriots have not had ALOT of success in the playoffs, and have lost both Super Bowls they were in. I am not a Pats hater, just an observation that both my wife and I have made, and she is a Pats fan.

  52. So how many back tracking articles do you have to write if it turns out that he’s perfectly innocent? As Hernandez hasent even been ruled a suspect after his property was searched, its looking more and more like a case where the media is happy to hang a man before they have the slightest clue what really happened. Anything for the best story huh? Who cares how many lives you have to destroy or how wild your speculations have to be, as long as you get another reader.

  53. Whiplash169, yup they’be only been too 2 superbowls and 3 afc championship games in 6 years. It’s only more success then every single other team in the NFL. What faliures. Clearly they haven’t won a SB since spygate because they where such dramatic cheaters, not because they’ve had the best offensive player (not wearing the number 12) injured in 4 of the 6 years. BTW if gronk is healthy the pats have 2 more rings, and if the refs don’t forget that holding is a penalty in 07 the pats are tied with the steelers with 6. But obviously they never will because they had to cheat so much to get their first 3.

  54. “Winning three Super Bowls in four years gives a team license to roll the dice that way.”

    You realize that was almost 10 years ago, right?

    You realize that it’s been even longer (if ever) your team has done it, right?

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