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Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

We've had a number of complaints from readers about the fact that we have not yet put up a thread to discuss Aaron Hernandez's legal problems. Readers were kind enough to thread-jack a discussion of the Houston Texans running game in order to accuse us of ignoring the Hernandez case due to our pro-Patriots bias. If you have made this complaint, I recommend you read our FAQ page which plainly spells out which team every FO staff member roots for so that you know how to properly accuse us of bias.

The reason we had not put up a thread linking to any story about the Hernandez case is that we generally have a rule that we do not post Extra Points on allegations of misconduct. There simply are too many allegations to post on every single one, and often those allegations have no actual on-field ramifications. We made a decision that we would only post XP once it was clear that a player's legal problems would definitely affect his availability to play. This explains the accusations that FO showed pro-Pats bias by posting a link about Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg but not about Hernandez; when Burress shot himself, it also made him unavailable to the team for the rest of the season. The same goes with Josh Price-Brent's drunk-driving crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown. However, to give another example, you'll notice there was no post when Adam Jones got into trouble (yet again) a couple weeks ago.

Nonetheless, we'll put up a thread here to discuss the ever-evolving legal case because there's nothing that annoys me more than the constant accusations of pro-Patriots bias, and because Jason Lisk was nice enough to write a good article at The Big Lead pointing out how historically significant the turnover in Tom Brady's receivers will be if Hernandez does not play this year. That's the article that's linked above rather than any news article about whether they are searching Hernandez's doghouse or whatever.

If you have been looking for a place to write about how you think that the New England Patriots are horrible people, here you go. And if you have been looking for a place to talk about whether Jake Ballard can come back from microfracture surgery and how much he can fill Hernandez's role if asked, well, you've got that too. Enjoy.

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Comments

162 comments, Last at 28 Jun 2013, 11:58am

1 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Just FYI: If you actually do want an XP about something, the best way to handle that is to shoot a request to one of us on Twitter (probably me -- @FO_RiversMcCown) or send it to the mailbag. I know I've missed a few big news stories over this period. We're all very busy with the book right now. I could use a prod at times.

Also I love the Patriots with all my heart and hate Brian Urlacher. He's a fraud who poops his pants.

89 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Curious why Monday Morning Quarterback isn't always an Extra Point any more. Do you do it strictly based on the content of the column? Do you sometimes forget to post it? What is the strategy there?

Seems like part of the issue here is it's not terribly clear what makes the cut to be an Extra Point and what doesn't.

4 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Im curious why the pro pats bias from Fo is still being bandied about. Isn't aaron the last current FO pats fan? I suspect if there's a bias at all, it would shared equally among SF, SEA, and Hou right now.

19 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Prejudice in the terms of "fandom" generally translates as you do not like (or hate) whoever it is that I like (or hate) nearly enough. Being a fan is generally an excuse to short circuit any sort of reasoning process to go directly to conspiracy theory.
That said this particular case and the Miami "incident" are going to have an impact on Hernandez at some point during this season. The NFL does not appreciate this type of publicity nor the level it is appearing at so even the best construction that can be attached to these two situations are going to catch him a suspension. (If it is as bad as it is being reported a suspension is going to be the least of his problems.)

5 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Even if nothing comes of this (i.e. no charges filed),
Hernandez had better get a 4 game suspension out of this
as a warning shot across his bow. Otherwise Goodell is
going to look seriously hypocritical for his Roethlisberger suspension.

6 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

C'mon man.

Allegations of misconduct? Plex shooting himself in the leg?

C'mon

In Feb. This POS shot an employee of his in the eye, and left him in an ally to die. Guy was to afraid to tell the cops who did it.

A friend of his. that was using a rented veh, in Hernandez's name, and was with him on Sunday, the night he was murdered. Is killed execution style, shot in the back of the head.

The next day Hernandez has his house power cleaned, destroys his surveillance equipment, and his cell phone.

Plax, shot himself.

Either you are a very stupid person, or you realize these are more then just accusations.

If you think I'm an A hole for saying that, Well, go for a midnight ride with AAron

14 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Whatever the implications are, and I admit they are quite damning, we live in a country where the rule is "innocent until proven guilty". We all depend on the impartiality of the law, and damning a man through the media because of incriminating evidence that has not yet gone through the full legal process is downright un-American. I agree, he's probably very guilty and will probably yet find himself on the wrong end of the legal justice system, assuming his lawyers don't somehow grievously hijack the matter, but we need to wait and see.

27 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I'm going to go the other way on this. We all depend on the watchdog function of the media. The justice system operates differently for the rich than it does for the rest of us, and presumably even moreso for the rich and popular. The best disinfectant is daylight, and people are only entitled the presumption of innocence in the courts, not the public square

80 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

My issue right now isn't about the presumption of innocence - I agree that it's a good thing for the courts, but not necessary when it comes to public opinion. I both believe that OJ is guilty, and agree with the verdict (the LAPD completely bungled the investigation, and nobody should be convicted under those conditions).

The issue for me is a question of hard, verifiable data. Things certainly look very bad for Hernandez, but I believe leaks from the prosecutor's office about as much as I believe a car salesman is checking with his manager. Based on what I've read, I certainly think he's at least guilty of either conspiracy or as an accessory - but, again, I'm fairly certain that at least half of what I've read so far will turn out to be wrong.

22 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"In Feb. This POS shot an employee of his in the eye, and left him in an ally to die."

I guess that's why he's in prison, doing time. Or wait...he hasn't even been arrested?

"Guy was to afraid to tell the cops who did it."

Or he decided it would be an opportune time to blame Hernandez.

Do you understand the difference between allegations and evidence?

I'm not saying Hernandez is innocent of anything. But really, is it so damned hard to let due process take its course?

I figured FO was waiting for an arrest. Because, really, what do we actually know so far? Very little.

25 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing


Either you are a very stupid person, or you realize these are more then just accusations.

Again, what is wrong with due process?

What we have so far is, in fact, far less than accusations. We have insinuations. We don't even know who the shooter is supposed to be. Is Aaron Hernandez going to be accused of murder? Or conspiracy? Or obstruction of justice? Or cleaning his house and disposing of his own personal property?

When a warrant is actually issued here, then we can say that there are accusations.

Is tit-for-tat fair? Would it be fair to call you a "very stupid person" for not knowing what accusations are?

61 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

He certainly seems to be guilty of something. But what?

I don't quite understand what is taking the police so long here. The fact that no warrant has been issued yet suggests to me that they don't know exactly what to do. If Hernandez weren't a millionaire with access to good lawyers, I'm sure they could roll him. But even the obstruction of justice charge isn't very strong. No matter how suspicious it looks for him to have his house cleaned and to destroy his surveillance system, unless he's already under some kind of warrant to preserve the evidence, doing things like that isn't illegal, no matter how badly it makes it clear that he's obviously been up to something.

66 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I think there is a chance that he may have underestimated what needs to be done to really destroy, beyond retrieval, digitally stored information. They may be putting some things back together, which will be followed by the big squeeze, in order to get somebody to flip. Unless they get everything they need without somebody flipping, in which case, they'll just hang everybody involved.

102 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

They actually aren't anything more than accusations.

Watch this:

"A sane person (not verified) lacks complete command of the English language. This is demonstrated by a post in which they use "In Feb." and "A friend of his." as complete sentences while also shortening the word "vehicle" to "veh." This person is an idiot who cannot write coherently."

Now look, I used "evidence" to make an accusation. I don't know if my accusation is correct, nor do I, in this case, care. What I do know is that it was incredibly easy to make. I even used circumstantial and incomplete evidence to support my point! Just like you did.

Clearly, I'm a genius.

8 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

This is will give us some very interesting insight into how much receivers affect QB performance. If hernandez doesn't play and gronk is either too injured to play - it's going to be fascinating to see how the pats offensively adjust. I suspect their o line and scheme(combined with brady's eliteness) will make sure this offense is effective regardless. But how effect is the real question. Then again, Amendola and Ballard(assuming both are healthy) are the kind of players that could have big seasons and I wouldn't really be surprised. Ballard was third I think in TE dyar two years ago and amendola is considered a big time slot threat.

9 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Kids out there - if you're ever thinking of starting up a website learn a couple of things from Aaron's mistakes above

1) And this is the most important lesson of all - Don't feed the trolls

2) If you disregard rule one and decide to get after the trolls, come up with a better argument than attempting to equate a story that is being covered by major news outlets and leading off on sports sites and involves a murder with a story to a story that was back of the sports section news.

10 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Something smells fishy about the whole situation.

My background: former civilian member of a very large law enforcement agency (10,000+ employees), multiple published articles in field of investigations/organised crime/drugs.

The fishy-ness: the leaks. No investigator/officer-in-charge ever leaks this much (the cellphone, the security system, the cleaning, the gunshots etc). If they do, it's for two reasons: incompetence or corruption.

Now, a good officer-in-charge, faced with this much breaching of OPSEC, ignores the suspects until he's clamped down on the leaks. Believe me, the leaks will do more harm than letting the fish wriggle a little bit longer. The fact that they HAVEN'T focused on the leaks is what concerns me. You only do that if you have a hard-on for the suspect (or your entire force is so incompetent you don't realise that leaking from an active investigation is worse than letting a perp walk)

56 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Yes -- that's usually why the cops are so set on bringing the guy down.

"You only do that if you have a hard-on for the suspect (or your entire force is so incompetent you don't realise that leaking from an active investigation is worse than letting a perp walk)"

Or both. The whole Kobe Bryant/Eagle County mess some years back was a classic example, as anyone who lived up in the mountains (and knew how the "justice system" tends to work up there) understood.

15 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

This article is a nice piece, and I think the key is the hedging in the conclusion. The Patriots' offense is likely to fall off quite a bit this season, although, assuming that Gronkowski recovers at some point in the season and at least one other receiving option pans out well, it is likely to improve considerably as the year progresses. If the defense can improve in any significant way, which is certainly plausible, than the Patriots seem likely to take a modest step back and still be competitive, perhaps a 10-6 season or the like.

20 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I keep waiting for ESPN to bring in their new hire Ray Lewis to talk about what it's like to catch an obstruction of justice charge when your friends murder someone.

62 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Ray Lewis clearly put his relationship with his friends above any duty to cooperate with the police. And, ultimately, two men were killed and nobody was ever found guilty.

Mind you, to be a model, it need not be the case that Lewis was actually guilty of the killings. If a casual observer thinks that Lewis and his two buddies got away with killing two men thanks to Lewis's wealth and celebrity, he might think this is how our system works.

72 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"And, ultimately, two men were killed and nobody was ever found guilty."

While this is true, it is disingenous, because technically what happened is that two men were killed and it was determined, after Lewis made a deal and testified in court, that the two people who did it weren't guilty of murder (the jury decided it was self defence).

But you are right, that the actual facts of the case aren't that important in the court of public opinion*. Ray Lewis, despite there being no evidence whatsoever that he actually murdered someone, will be thought to have gotten away with murder by most people. I think it is an accurate model, because most sportspeople accused of stuff end up being thought of as guilty regardless of evidence. I don't know the deal with the Kobe case, but over here there was the thing with Robin Van Persie - arrested for rape (but released without charge), and despite the woman eventually saying that she made it up for publicity a fair amount of people think of him as a rapist.

*I'm not trying to sound snarky, there's just no way to write that sentence without sounding like that! I genuinely agree with you.

86 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Oh, definitely. Even if the worst that he did was destroy evidence that wasn't actually important to the case (say the only evidence that was at his house and on his phone was evidence that he was with the guys who did it earlier in the night, and he just got stupid and panicked, making things look much worse than they actually were), and he wasn't at all present during or after the shooting he might get away with nothing much beyond a slap on the wrists. That doesn't seem like a likely situation, but lets just say it happens. In the court of public opinion he'll still be known as an accessory to murder, if not a murderer outright.

On the other hand, we might actually lose the Ray Lewis comparisons, and in future we'll have Aaron Hernandez comparisons.

161 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Hmmm, that's not exactly what I meant. I mean Carruth was found guilty, so at least there's a modicum of justice. Nobody (or at least nobody other than the people involved) knows exactly what happened with Ray Lewis or Aaron Hernandez (or how that will shake out). Worst case is murder without punishment. I wasn't speaking to the wickedness of the crimes.

76 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"they are the only two words in the English language that have "io" in them."

Zypstios would clearly be a Greek word, not English. As such, we must remember to pronounce the p like an r.

Fun fact: if you Google "zypstios", you get only one hit -- this thread.

28 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Schatz is referring to my contribution in hijacking another thread. His defense is sort of lame-- "Look-- we spoke about SOME stuff, but not about some Adam Jones thing from two weeks ago, so not talking about Hernandez being wrapped up in a murder case is totally normal" as though anyone cares about Adam Jones at this point. And as though a murder were some ho-hum event.

Here's a hint: when I listen to sports radio (ESPN, CBS, Fox Sports) and every hour, there's some discussion of the Hernandez situation, and when I go to USA Today or ESPN on-line and see Hernandez headlines, it's probably a big deal in football that, well, a football site might want to at least acknowledge for its loyal readers (the people who come here every day to read and hope to talk about football-- we are the ones who provide clicks that justify ad revenue). No one obviously expects every DUI and every paternity case to be listed on Extra Points. But this isn't a DUI. And it's not some third-stringer from the Jags. It's a major player from a major team that seems to be wrapped up in a murder!

I've been a loyal FO reader since 2005. I know who roots for what teams. I also know that big events (e.g. major players for major teams being linked in some way to a murder) tend to at least get a nod here. Sorry if this ruffled Aaron's feathers. He's human. I'm human. I don't know who's right. I'll still come to this site because I love the information and the discussion. But it does seem like (given the number of posts in this tread compared to others) loyal FO readers wanted to at least talk about this (while Schatz's sarcasm doth protest too much), and that's probably a good thing.

46 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Well, I've been reading since at least 2005, and I seem to remember some instances where other media outlets were going crazy on a legal story, and FO waited until there was actually an arrest before addressing it.

It's June. Nothing's really happening with regard to football, so a story like this becomes even more prominent. It looks like something official will happen in short order, and at that time a lot more information will be available. I don't really see a problem with waiting a few days before addressing it, since this site is not a general news outlet, but a rather more specialized site dealing with performance on the field, and there are no games for about two and half months.

101 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

All true. That being said, I don't see where the problem was in people questioning why no article was posted or discussing the story in threads for a different article. People are coming to their site to discuss things rather than just going someplace else. That's the sort of "problem" every website would like to have.

117 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Come on, Will. (And I've certainly respected your opinion on all matters football in my time as an FO regular.) I accept that there was a bit of hyperbole in my original (now deleted) comment-- I did say that a cynic might thing such a thing; I didn't actually accuse Aaron of doing it.

That said, given how we have seen other high profile cases treated, it seemed odd that this wouldn't have gotten some sort of FO nod-- not for the news (again, most XP blurbs are just links to other sites), but for a place for someone to discuss related issues without having to deal with the typical ESPN comment riff-raff. That's all.

119 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Tone is pretty tough to convey in a comments section; it's pretty easy to confuse, "A cynic might say......" with a direct insinuation that what a cynic might say happened actually did happen.

I don't have an opinion as to how FO has treated this story, compared to previous stories in which players committing crimes has been alleged.

75 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I"If you're hearing stories about this on 'pop' sports sites like ESPN, CBS, and Fox, why do you need to hear about it on Football Outsiders? FO is not a news site, it's an analysis site, and it doesn't have enough staff to cover news that's not specifically about football."

Exactly. FO just links to news stories. But I'd like to actually talk about those stories-- and, say, the impact of a perennial AFC play-off pass-oriented team losing yet another receiver. Discussion that on a site like ESPN is pointless. But FO is well known for having people discussion things in a smart, civilized way. Moreover, this can serve as a news nexus where readers can link to information that I might not have been aware of.

Given that it's a dull time of year for football, it seems like putting up a thread that would generate traffic would be a good thing for FO. But whatever. I'm a jerk for wanting to come here, I guess, and talk about football on a football site like I've done for the past 7 or 8 years.

78 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

The problem isn't wanting to discuss it on. Nor is it even the threadjack; plenty of other threads have gotten off-topic, and I often enjoy the diversion.

No, the two main problems are:

1. Demanding an XP on another thread instead of simply requesting one via the 'Contact FO' button.
2. The accusation of a pro-Pats bias.

Neither is a capital offense, but it is rude. Granted, that's an odd term to use on an internet forum, but the whole reason I like commenting here is that most people are generally polite in the face of disagreement.

132 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I'm pretty sure I've suggested this via proper channels, but I've often thought the forum on here would see more use if it had a bit of "ticker" on the front page like the Extra Points. Just another box somewhere for "What are readers are talking about" or whatever. "Reader Kick Offs" maybe for a football tie in name, for discussions that the readers kick off / start. Maybe the four most recently created threads and the four "most active" threads. Call active being the most responses in the last 24 / 48 hours. Sure could be overlap, the 8 is because that is how many extra points there are.

I'm not familiar with this software, but I know there are boards out there that can do it. I've even monkeyed a bit with helping set one up. It might require some custom coding, but shouldn't be too much, and there might be a plug-in out there for this software to already do it.

If I haven't mentioned this in suggestions during the end of the year polls and an email like I thought I did, my bad, but here it is again.

134 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I've suggested this too, several times.

The other suggestion I think I've made several times is that FO should split the Almanac into a season review and preview. The review would let us all get our hands on the lovely stats earlier and the preview could then focus on changes and expectations for the coming season.

34 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I generally come to this site to read analytical articles, not the sort of news Hernandez is involved in right now. Other subjects that have not been written about on this site include: Rex Ryan tattoo gate, who was in that foot fetish video with Ryan, what Tebow is doing this morning, etc. As a Jets fan who's pretty much had it with the Northeastern media, I'm cool with this. I doubt there is much anyone at Football Outsiders can enlighten us much about the Hernandez situation anyway.
I would much rather see an article critiquing the ESPN Insiders piece about which teams will be great in 2016 that apparently didn't pay attention to cap space, among other things.

The Odin LLoyd murder is terrible, and I feel sorry for his family, but Football Outsiders really isn't the place to read about it, I feel.

67 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Raiderjoe, you are correct as usual that the Ryan foot fetish and tattoos have nothing to do with football, and that the situation with Hernandez might. But right now, we don't know if it will or not, and my point was that an analytic site like Football Outsiders would not be right place to find information about it. I'm pretty much relying on ESPN for any news about the murder case right now.
Now there may be aspects of all this to look at in an analytical way (whether extending Hernandez' contract was foolish, as it looks like right now, how the Patriots could overcoming losing him for part of the season, whether relying long term on a 2 TE offense is risky because of how often tight ends are injured, etc.), but this site isn't the best place to find out legal news about NFL players. I didn't pay any attention to the thread that Aaron complained about, so I'm not qualified to comment on that whole thing, but I just wanted to add that I appreciate in general the way this site goes about its business, as opposed to the New York Post, et al.

85 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

It might be worth discussing Tebow, actually.

Gronk is hurt (and may be too dumb to stop re-injuring himself in useless ways), Hernandez might be catching a Murder-1 charge, and Ballard is hoping his knee isn't Gronked.

Doesn't that mean a willing Tebow might be #2 on the TE depth chart? The guy who, other than possessing an aversion to murder, seems to resemble Hernandez's skill-set fairly well?

95 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"Doesn't that mean a willing Tebow might be #2 on the TE depth chart?"

Maybe, but Tebow has consistently made it clear that he is not willing to play a position other than QB. As long as teams keep signing him as a QB, albeit as a backup, he has very little reason to back off that stance.

Even if he was willing, I'm not sure how useful a learning-a-new-position Tebow would be to the Patriots this year.

114 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

When people mention Tebow playing TE, I think back to a play last season. Tebow was lined up in the slot and ran a little out pattern, Sanchez threw him the ball and it bounced off Tebow's head. I think playing TE, running routes, and catching passes requires a lot footwork that takes years to develop, it's hard to see Tebow learning all that in a year.

36 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

It's your site. You can write about what you want.

Clearly, you hadn't written about it yet because you didn't want to; there are 8 articles since Monday up (to be fair, two are site news).

Your general policy is likely appreciated, but if you really thought that it applied here, you define "allegations of misconduct" differently than most of your readers would seem to. I don't recall any shortage of threads about Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisberger here.

As an aside, bashing your readers for forcing you to write about something you don't want to seems counterproductive ... "were kind enough to thread-jack", "searching Hernandez' doghouse" and "write about how you think the New England Patriots are horrible people"? So much for respecting your readers.

I don't really know if you didn't want to write about it because you despise the constant coverage (personally, this is why I didn't care about the lack of Hernandez articles), or if you're sick of hearing people bash your favorite team, or what; you didn't want to write about it and you didn't. Fine - just don't blame your readers for wondering why you didn't, and sneer at them when you finally do.

50 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I couldn't find XPs found prior to this on the Roethlisberger Assault allegations:

Roethlisberger Officially Suspended Six Games - Football Outsiders
www.footballoutsiders.com/.../breaking-news-roethlisberger-officially-su...‎
Apr 21, 2010

However Vick's troubles drew more attention - note these amusingly juxtaposed XPs:

Vick Unlikely to Be Indicted - Football Outsiders
www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2007/vick-unlikely-be-indicted‎
Jul 6, 2007

Michael Vick Indicted - Football Outsiders
www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2007/michael-vick-indicted‎
Jul 17, 2007

There's also this XP from earlier in 2007:

Ron Mexico and the Mysterious Case of The Dark Particulate
http://www.footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/2007/ron-mexico-and-mysterious-case-dark-particulate
Jan 18, 2007

That said, I didn't expect FO to run an XP on the Hernandez investigation until it had a come to a more tangible outcome - an indictment, say, or action from the team or Commish. (Where he is he, by the way? Usually he's the first on the scene to rush to judgment.)

On the other hand, I do agree with the earlier comment that the intro to this thread has an unnecessarily nasty edge to it, as per the quotes cited. This isn't like Brady/Manning threads - there are some real issues involving athletes and the culture of violence that are worth discussing.

Hopefully that's a discussion we can have here with civility and mutual respect (and only slagging on the Patriots organization if you can do so with genuine wit, please).

73 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I'm guessing Goodell is sort of happy that this happened in June, rather than during the season. Because he's got plenty of time to see where things are heading. It would look pretty poor for him if he jumped to suspend him and after missing a bunch of games it turned out that Hernandez had no involvement whatsoever (which admittedly seems unlikely). And it would also look bad for the league as a whole if Goodell allowed Hernandez to play a bunch of games in the time between committing a murder and getting arrested for murder.

I can't imagine that Goodell will be letting him play this season though. IMO, the Pats should just say "we're suspending him indefinitely until we know what's going on, and if he's innocent of all crimes we'll welcome him back."

130 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"the Pats should just say "we're suspending him indefinitely until we know what's going on, and if he's innocent of all crimes we'll welcome him back.""

Why? Why should the default be guilty until proven innocent? You can always suspend him more games, you can't give a player back his career if you take a year away from him and it turns out hes innocent.

45 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

For what it's worth, I have no problem with waiting for an arrest, or some action from the Commissioer, before putting up an XP piece. Now, the lawsuit against Hernandez may have been worthy, but I suspect that NFL players are sued with a greater frequency than the general population, and every lawsuit doesn't warrant attention by XP.

52 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Appreciate you posting something, even though misconduct isn't really relevant to the site. I do like the general selectivity of the website and articles on strategy / statistics, primarily, but a developing story about murder, or Gleason's ALS, are good in the sense that they keep the humanity of the game in perspective.

I don't think it would be appropriate, say, to do a post mentioning "Patriots without Hernandez" without the incident being discussed at least in part. Just seems cold...

53 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

What? No comments on how this affects the Tebow situation? No Gronk or Hernandez by September means Hoomanawanui could be the starting TE. It's only a matter of time now before Belichick asks Tebow to move to TE for the good of the team. This thread needs to be hijacked for Tebow. (Just kidding folks.)

65 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I would think that Hoomanawanui and Ballard are the leading candidates to be the top TEs. Apparently they play different kinds of roles at the position.

Of course, there's nobody out there (at least in the Patriots' organization) who plays the position in exactly the way that Hernandez or Gronk does. Gronk in particular is a physical freak.

55 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I think we needed an XP on this NOT so we could discuss whether we think Hernandez is guilty or not (because, frankly, as Tanier and some other folks in this thread have pointed out, we don't really know, and if Law Enforcement is doing it's job, we don't have any of the important details yet to even begin to start making a guess), but because, as some other have pointed out, with Hernandez barred from the team facilities and other allegations surfacing, there is a very real chance that Hernandez will start the season suspended even if he's not in jail, and even if he doesn't, he won't be in full game-shape because of these distractions.

With Welker and Lloyd and Wood head gone, and Edelman and Gronk likely not starting the season healthy, then their top 6 recievers from the previous year will not be around to start the season if Hernandez isn't there. If Branch doesn't start the season, then their top 7 won't. The only continuity from the previous year will be Vareen, Ridley, Hoomanawanui, Fells, and Bolden...three RB's and two backup TE's who collectively caught 25 passes last season. That's what we should be discussing in this thread.

Or, if you prefer Fantasy Football to real football, we could disucss how one of last year's fairly highly touted (but disappointing due to injury) TE's from last year was primed for an awesome year...playing with a HOF QB and a severely depeleted receiving corps...but now that's in jeapordy.

81 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

That's one shitty receiving corps.

Belichick tried an "all third-string" receiving corps back in 2006. Caldwell, Garbriel, Brown, Jackson, Gaffney were the various WRs. Tight ends looked better, with Watson and Graham. Faulk was okay as a receiving back. Overall, it was a shitty set of targets for Brady.

That was the last time he led an offense that wasn't #1 or #2 in pass DVOA. But it managed to be #5. And that wasn't a Brady problem. He had led the pass offense to #2 ranks in the previous two seasons.

I expect this year's pass offense to be at least as bad as that (if you can call it bad). Or at least until a couple of injured players come back, or Hernandez gets cleared to play (if ever).

Supposing the Patriots' pass offense came in at #7 in the league (think Cowboys level), will the rest of the team improve enough to take up the slack?

68 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Maybe the bias comes from things like readers wishing there was a thread to discuss Brian Urlacher's retirement (which took SEVERAL days to happen), yet the acquisition of a third-string quarterback gets an almost immediate thread to discuss.

84 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

So, the people visiting the site wanted to talk about the Hernandez situation, had nowhere to do so, and ended up using the comments for a different article... How is that a problem? That still gets FO their page views and comments that they no doubt use to measure the success of the site.

Bigger picture is I've never been clear on what exactly Extra Points was all about. There's always been a bunch of unwritten rules that the FO folks don't like being questioned about. Here, we learn that charges being filed is apparently a rule for an article to be posted. I recall when there was first talk of Randy Moss coming back somebody rather indignantly telling everybody that there'd be no articles on Moss until he'd actually signed. Wouldn't the clientele wanting to discuss something be enough?

88 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Could not agree more with your last sentence. More than half the value I put on this website comes from the readers (the other half from Raiderjoe comments, the latest half in its statistical precision, which I value), and even if I don't care much about whether or not Hernandez has been arrested, I always enjoy the comments.

139 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Perhaps the site needs something other than extra points for big discussion items.

I agree completely with the avoidance of XP links for every misconduct allegation that happens (and speculative 'news' in general). FO provides no value by repeating rumors and speculation and investing effort writing and editing comments.

However, providing a place for users to chat with each other on a topic is very valuable and orthogonal to announcing news events. There is no reason to tightly bind discussion topics to items that the site deems newsworthy.

90 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

We shouldn't assume that Hernandez is guilty we can't have a football discussion without doing so. There are only a few possibilities: if he is rapidly found to be innocent then he will play and nothing has changed, so no need for further analysis.

The other possibilities are either a conviction for a rather serious case of obstruction of justice, which would almost certainly mean Hernandez misses at least this season due to either a custodial sentence or Goodell throwing the biggest book he can find at him. The other possibility is that Hernandez is charged with murder and goes to trial and from a football perspective I can't see how he plays this year.

So if you want to look at the Patriots angle the relevant discussion is to look at how the Pats will manage with no healthy receivers other than Amendola (who has been injured quite a lot because he has lots of Wes Welker in his game but lacks Wes' ability to avoid the big hits in the middle of the field).

I think they might be screwed, it will be interesting to see if they rework the offense into a run first, play action system, which could work. Miami could win the division (if Tannehill gets his act together, the young running backs can help in receiving and pass blocking and the line holds up, so worries there).

93 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

My question is - and if anyone else is asking, I've missed it - where do these charges end?

Specifically, if the investigation wanted to go this route, could they look at the Patriots franchise as some sort of accessory to obstruction of justice?

I say this because, well, where do you think Hernandez found his "cleaner?" Guys like this don't advertize in the Yellow Pages. On the other hand, NFL teams have "fixers" on payroll whose job consists of keeping things quiet that are supposed to stay quiet. Every team in the league, bar none, has a guy whose job it is to handle paternity claims, blown off appearances, bar fights, etc. and make them go away before law enforcement and the media find out about them.

NFL teams might not need a fixer often enough to keep one on the payroll, but it's absurd to think that they wouldn't have one on speed dial.

If the Pats did provide that contact to Hernandez (and really, where else could he have found such a person?), can any obstruction charges be extended to them?

124 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I can't help wondering whether any reporter out there has bothered to find out whether or not Hernandez got his house cleaned by a professional service every week. I know plenty of people who do who make a lot less money than Hernandez does.

Listen, My money is on Hernandez being at the scene, or at least dropping somebody off at a future scene while having a reasonably good idea that there was going to be a scene later. That being said, there's really nothing that's been discovered so far that's particularly incriminating.

I can imagine myself, for example, smashing my cell phone/security system hard drive with a hammer and telling the cop "It's none of your God-damned business whose pictures I have on my phone / when I come and go from my own residence". It's not the smart response if one has nothing to hide, but it is the emotional one that fits the Hernandez profile of intractability/defiance.

He's almost certainly guilty of something, but I think the investigators might be a little frustrated right now and starting a fishing expedition. With only the media talking, it's easy to assume guilt. However, unless the gun turns up, it's going to be awfully hard to get a murder conviction.

Unless Hernandez is found not to have been involved whatsoever, and these are all co-incidental occurances, he's unlikely to play this year.

Which brings me back to Atlanta in January 2000. My memory says that Ray Lewis didn't miss a single game due to suspension. Am I wrong? Seems hard to fathom now.

125 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

"I can imagine myself, for example, smashing my cell phone/security system hard drive with a hammer and telling the cop 'It's none of your God-damned business whose pictures I have on my phone / when I come and go from my own residence'."

I don't know you from Adam, dryheat, except as an interesting and reasonable poster here (who happens also to root for the Pats -- nobody's perfect!), but I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit here. That's a pretty crazy response to questions from police about the murder of a guy you know and were hanging with at some point the night he was murdered. "I don't care if the dude is dead; I've got a right to privacy" is not just defiant. It's almost sociopathic. (Of course, talk about destruction of the security system and phone is uncomfirmed rumor at this point, so this is all hypothetical.)

You make a good point about the cleaning crew. If it was a regularly scheduled thing, then who cares?

128 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Well stated Led. If a friend of mine (or enemy for that matter), got murdered after I spent the weekend with him, I can't imagine my first response would be to smash my personal items as an act of defiance. Which leads to the question, has Hernandez shown any concern and/or sorrow about the fact a buddy he was seen partying with was killed? Certainly not publicly, but what about behind the scenes? If not, the circumstantial evidence couldn't be any more damning.

135 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

What a strange comment. Do you mean you wouldn't shed a tear NOW (presumably years later), or even if they were killed the night you partied with them? It strikes me as psychotic behavior that you could be immune to emotion about a human being dying on the night you partied with them - whether they were a friend or not.

162 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

You party with a guy (even if you don't really like him) and he ends up dead within hours (possibly minutes) of you leaving him. And he's dead right by the car you'd rented for him and been riding around in that very night. If you had absolutely nothing to do with it, you're freaked out and double-checking your security system is working, not destroying it.

And this wasn't some "friend" Hernandez had just met that night. They'd known each other for quite some time and the guy was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.

100 Re: Aaron Hernandez Did a Bad, Bad Thing

Why isn't everyone talking about the real story here? Aaron Hernandez is either a bad Patriot or not the killer. Because Odin Lloyd was shot ONCE in the back of the head, and everyone knows a professional - a true subscriber to the Patriot Way - would have shot him TWICE. Double Tap, Aaron!

I think he is going to be hearing about that in training camp, regardless, and I shudder to think about the Belichick presser after the murder trial.

Q: Do you have any comment on the Hernandez murder trail?
BB: I continue to believe any accused is innocent until proven guilty, and I find it hard to believe one of my players would commit such an amateurish murder. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and then there's the Patriot Way. And the Patriot Way does not involve destroying evidence, because it doesn't leave any.