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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Patriots Hernandez Charged with Murder

Wild on Sports
Patriots Hernandez Charged with Murder
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

WOW. That is the only thinkable response after reading a headline like that. The New England Patriots lost a major offensive threat Wednesday as TE Aaron Hernandez was arrested, released by the team, then charged with murder and multiple weapons counts.

There is so much going on with this story that my head is spinning just trying to put together my thoughts. I mean, how stupid do you have do be? An All-Pro TE when healthy, Hernandez was just handed a massive contract extension by the Pats only to turn around and allegedly kill someone? And a supposed friend nonetheless.

What this means for the Patriots:
The Patriots, by all accounts did what they had to do by releasing Hernandez. You can't have a murder charge associated with the brand. Its bad for business and its another horrible black eye on the NFL. That said, what happens now at the tight end position? The dynamic duo of Hernandez and Rod Gronkowski, when both healthy, are nearly unstoppable. It now looks like the Patriots will be without both to start the season. The only jersey Hernandez will likely be wearing this season will have prison stripes and Gronk is expected to miss considerable time as he recovers from off-season back and arm surgeries.

The Patriots are now left with Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells as the only proven TE's on the roster. Ballard had a productive 2011 season in New York but has miss substantial time due to injury since. Fells is more of a blocker than a pass catcher having just four receptions as a Patriot a year ago.

This could leave the door open for the emergence of a different Florida Gator at TE in the newly signed Tim Tebow. Tebow has never played the position but surely is not going to be taking any snaps at QB this season. He is a pretty good football mind and has a winning mentality that Bill Belichick loves. 

Is it possible that the Patriots had doubts about Hernandez that prompted the Tebow signing as insurance? Sure that thought might be a bit far fetched given that the alleged crime took place several days after the Tebow signing, but Bill has had a strange sixth sense about things in the past.

Whats next for Hernandez?
Well, he certainly has the money for bail so he is unlikely to sit in a prison cell for long...yet. What is strange to me is the way that this whole thing went down. If you have a world class legal team, which by all accounts he does, wouldn't you think they would have a pretty good idea that this arrest was coming and could have gotten him to the police station without the media charade? To me it seems like either a) they don't care, b) Hernandez thinks that given the president of murderous football players *cough* Ray Lewis *cough* he will simply pay some money and make it go away, or c) the legal team must think they have a damn strong defense case where the charges will not hold up in court.

Given the closed lip nature of this case I am inclined to believe the latter.

For Hernandez the football player life as knows it very well could be over. For a young man who is so talented to throw it all away like this is just tragic. I would like to think hope that he is not that stupid. Then again, given the past history of several high profile NFL players, this may be another example of why the league needs to keep a little closer eye on its players.

It is a sad day to be a fan of the New England Patriots. It is a sad day to be a fan of the NFL.


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