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Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

So there you go, folks. Clearly he did something. The Patriots will take a huge cap hit from the $12.5 million signing bonus they gave Hernandez a year ago, so you could argue that they did the moral thing by cutting him now instead of waiting to see what he would be charged with. Or, you could argue that they did the immoral thing because they are the Patriots and everything they do is evil.

As for the on-field ramifications, huge, of course, but maybe not quite as big as some people believe. Remember, Hernandez only played 10 games last year, and the Patriots' offense was still pretty good in the other six.

I also agree with what Greg Bedard and a lot of other folks are saying on Twitter: "Patriots decision to release Hernandez now means well-connected Patriots security director Mark Briggs thinks this is going to get much worse."

P.S. I just ran some numbers. No, this doesn't mean that the Patriots will once again be the best offense in the league even without Hernandez... obviously, they also lost Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead, and Green Bay has real running backs now. But still, who's the really important player here?

Patriots regular-season offensive DVOA
with Hernandez: 24.0%
without Hernandez: 42.4%

with Gronkowski: 34.7%
without Gronkowski: 22.3%

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Comments

327 comments, Last at 06 Jul 2013, 10:44am

1 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez...

Re his on-the-field impact, yeah. I looked at his stats recently and he was something like a 50-600-5 guy for his three years. So, a nice cog in the wheel of the offensive machine, but not the main driver.

Then again, the Pats have been ahead of the curve with this 2 TE passing system, and they're now down to 1 TE and he's got a bad wheel. So it could be a real problem. One wonders how easy it is to just put someone into their system-- what's the learning curve there?

As for the "they are the Patriots and everything they do is evil" bit, one would love to have the eye roll emoticon right about now.

8 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez...

His value was more in that he allowed the Patriots to keep the same personnel on the field and line up in several different configurations, rather than his procduction. Depending on the call, Hernandez could line up at the Y, on the wing, in the slot, or in the backfield and know his responsibilities.

66 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez...

I think it's more or less a given that the Pats will still have a great regular season offense primarily due to Brady's awesomeness. But I'd imagine winning 3 or 4 straight games in the playoffs against good foes will be a lot harder without players like Hernandez who can cause matchup problems.

147 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez...

Looking at the games missed, two were against Buffalo (52-28 and 37-31), one they smoked Indy (59-24) and another they smoked the Rams (45-7). The Pats do have a tendency to rack up huge DVOA numbers when the find weaknesses to exploit. No doubt Brady is good enough to shred bad D's at this point even with limited weapons, but having a skilled, versatile player is always going to be valuable against top defenses. He was the second leading receiver in both the playoff games for the Pats this year.

170 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez...

This isn't a comment directed at just brady, but I think its naive to say any qb can get away with poor weapons. Even Manning looked worse when his receivers and o line was injured in 2010. The key to NE is the o line, but even then...2006 Ne wasn't a great offense either. Hernandez's nominal stats may not be superb, but he played an important part in their no huddle. Without him, welker, or even gronk, I'll be very amazed if Brady and the offense puts up league leading numbers once again. Again, they may still be a very good team because of improvements in defense, special teams, and run game...but their pass offense is sure to take a step back.

2 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After... Police Make Arrest

I don't think this means the police have violated the sealed records to warn the Patriots of the up-coming charges. It simply means that obstruction of justice charges were sufficient reason to release him. It's pretty clear now that the charges will be at least that serious.

If that's all the they charge him with, releasing him is still a good idea for the Patriots. He's toast for at least a season, even if he's not actually tried or found guilty of anything. And he's more distraction than even Tebow or Moss at their most circus-like.

It was decent of the Patriots to wait for an actual arrest to make their move.

3 Subject header is too long

But wow. I'm stunned that they've cut him before pretty much any of the process has happened. They must have got a tip that things don't look good for him.

Unless they were spying on him. They have previous there... :-P

28 Re: Subject header is too long

Whatever is going to happen, it will take more than 3 months. Which means either they would have to hold a roster spot for a player not in camp, facing extremely serious charges, or they would have to release him.

And no, videotaping something being played before tens of thousands of people really doesn't constitute "spying."

40 Re: Subject header is too long

I will admit that my cheap, weak, and old joke did lack nuance.

Although I was referring to taping the Rams Super Bowl walkthrough, not taping the Jets' signals. Which, given it was behind closed doors, does constitute at least a vague approximation of spying (even if the balance of probability is definitely weighed drastically towards it not actually happening, and I say that as a Rams fan).

But the point of the entire comment was the rubbish joke.

On the other bit, yeah, I guess, although the Falcons managed to hold on to Vick in similar circumstances (although I suspect their circumstances were slightly changing by them hoping that "dear god let him get away with it"!)

4 savvy or self serving?

As a non-Pats fan, I had a view of the organization as being 1. business savvy (i.e. releasing players earlier rather than later) and 2. not accepting of player nonsense (i.e. Welker gettin slapped down over the Rex Ryan 'foot' comments). I wonder if this move smacks more of 1. or 2.

10 Re: savvy or self serving?

I'd say it's a tie. They probably have decided that the guy is just too damned stupid to have on the roster, even given the cash they have dropped on him already. Chasing losses is the classic amateur mistake, and whatever else Kraft and Belichik are, they are not amateurs.

77 Re: savvy or self serving?

Will is right. This action is completely professional. I have no idea why Aaron is intent on taking himself down with this issue. The first XP was basically a hysterical "doth protest too much" apologia, and now, the sentences about "morality" in this second XP are little more than a preposterous straw man argument somehow implying that anyone who ever questions what the Patriots do must believe the Patriots are evil all the time. Seriously? Just take it easy, Champ. Why don't you stop talking for a while?

Again, what Will said...What sets apart Kraft and Belichik is that they are *not amateurs*, but I'd bet they are like a lot of other people on a lot of other issues, in that sometimes they do stuff that's generous and kind and sometimes they do stuff that's repellent and dickish. I'd bet it's complicated and probably not: "all haterz think we're the evilest."

This action seems to fit squarely in the "this is a business, and we're making the sound business decision based on how we see the landscape." Morality on FO. Please stop.

80 Re: savvy or self serving?

It might be time for Aaron Schatz to take some time off and let someone else handle XP for a while. For anyone wondering if this site has a Patriot bias, his rants on this subject are compelling evidence. Not what he was going for, I think.

110 Re: savvy or self serving?

Rivers McCown is the one who posts the vast majority of Extra Points, not Aaron.

I also have no idea how anyone can look at these two XPs and think that the rants have anything to do with the Patriots, as opposed to a website editor being annoyed by a flood of comments/emails. I almost think you could make up a zlionsfan template for "rant by website editor on recent topic that resulted in comment thread/email inbox explosion because the website editor does not check every thread/email every second."

It happens everywhere, and has nothing to do with the topic, and everything to do with the fact that people who believe someone is biased never seem to think of the simpler answer: the person they're accusing of bias was busy doing something else.

186 Re: savvy or self serving?

Yes, really, no idea. You've really never come across a website editor who's had to deal with a few people whining during a time when said editor is busy doing something else? The rants look exactly like that.

116 Re: savvy or self serving?

Actually, it was one comment made by someone wondering why we were seeing various XPs put up on things like the Texan's run offense and yet, after several days, nothing about a star player for one of the league's premier teams being connected to a murder. That's all. Again: not a flood. As for the "too busy" part, I don't know. From the time when news outlets first reported things until the original petulant XP, something like 4 other XPs went up. Whatever.

177 Re: savvy or self serving?

I rolled my eyes, too. But in Aaron (Schatz)'s defense:

-It's book crunch time, which is probably when he's least cheerful. (And Hernandez' availability probably has a significant impact on the New England chapter.)

-It's never pleasant to see someone on your favorite team involved in something like this.

-While the conversation on the previous Hernandez XP was (mostly) at the level we pride ourselves on, that doesn't mean that the communications sent directly to Aaron are of similar quality.

298 Re: savvy or self serving?

I haven't seen the problem from the beginning. Somebody questions why something isn't posted and people care enough about the topic to use another article's forum to talk about it. Not exactly the end of the world and far better for FO than if everybody just abandoned them and went to talk about it someplace else.

And I posted a very mundane question asking why MMQB sometimes isn't posted in Extra Points and got a pretty snarky reply, implying they read every MMQB and only post the ones that make the cut. Much more likely the sometimes get busy and forget, particularly given their admitting the book is taking up all their time. Quite a bit of attitude from the FO staff for no apparent reason. I don't get it.

319 Re: savvy or self serving?

I did not think what I said in that thread came off as snarky at all. But ... okay. If you want the full adult conversation about it...

-We don't read every MMQB.
-Sometimes, during book crunch season, nobody is around on Monday. (Or any other given day, for that matter.)
-Usually, when confronted with the choice of putting up something old or putting up something new, I personally will pick something new. Even if that means it breaks a site norm like posting MMQB every week.
-We don't have some super-secret list where we sit around arguing over which XP's make the cut and which don't. We have general rules (like trying to wait until the Hernandez thing had concrete on-field repercussions rather than jumping on it the second the innuendo looked bad) on posting things, but there's not specific case-by-case arguments on what goes up. Nobody has time for that.

Tell me how you would prefer XP's to be run.

320 Re: savvy or self serving?

I'm not one of the people who complained earlier. In fact, the did a bad, bad thing XP was the first news on the topic I'd heard. But since you're soliciting opinion, I'll offer one.

I assume the effort required to post an XP is pretty low. If people want a place to talk about a topic enough to ask for it or to begin discussing it in an unrelated XP, it probably deserves it's own. It's better for FO and for the readers to keep things organized and on this site. Don't engage trollish claims of bias, just quietly put up the new XP if meets some low bar, and resist the urge to be smarmy in the post.

5 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez

From the football side of things despite those numbers without Hernandez there are a lot more questions about the Pats offense this year vs last. In terms of talent Welker and Amendola are relatively similar but Welker has been much more durable over his career.

If they end up playing a bunch of games without Gronk and Amendola that's an offense without a ton of weapons.

49 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez

Age 26 11 G, 8 GS, 63 catches, 666 yards, 3 TD.
Age 25 16 G, 2 GS, 67 catches, 687 yards, 1 TD.

Which one is Welker the year before joining the Patriots, and which one is Amendola? Welker wasn't Welker until he played for the Patriots, Amendola should he stay healthy will not be as good as Welker's best but will still be very productive.

134 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez

Most receivers who had Welker's numbers in his pre-Patriots years do not achieve his numbers that he did with the Patriots.

Your argument is like saying "well, he's a patent clerk, so of course he's likely to be a physics genius soon." Most patent clerks don't turn into Albert Einstein.

216 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez

Granted it is a small sample size, but if you look at the stats of Brady and the production of that offense when Welker was injured over the past five seasons, there is a serious drop. He might have been more important to that system than people think. We'll see this year.

249 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez

Oh, I'm absolutely not denying that he has substantial value and is a lot better than Edelman. But I do think he's substantially less valuable and difficult to replace than the likes of Fitzgerald, White, Green and the Johnsons - and indeed than Gronkowski. And I think a healthy Amendola (that mythical beastie) would likely make up most (though probably not all) of his production.

16 Re: Persecution complex much,

...because it's impossible to have a reasonable negative opinion about something that someone else loves.

We should turn this "patriots bias" into a joke in order to:
1; make fun of the people who use it
B; make it go away
Tres; make Aaron feel better

7 Aaron Hernandez

You know, it's kind of sad. I'm a Pats fan and I really had blinders on with this guy. I knew that he had some past problems with decision making, but I didn't see it for the past three years. I really liked the AH and I guess I just thought that the team leadership was strong enough to keep him out of trouble. It was a good story - how naïve.

12 Re: Aaron Hernandez

In reply to by Not Jimmy (not verified)

Clearly, he fooled Kraft and Belichick too. I don't think you qualify as naive on this one.

18 Re: Aaron Hernandez

In reply to by dryheat

I also think that they keep such tight lips that if anything had been going on, they wouldn't have let it out anyway. OK I feel better. Now if Big Vince murders someone...

19 Re: Aaron Hernandez

In reply to by Not Jimmy (not verified)

Wait - jumping to conclusions there. He hasn't even been charged yet! It's just all the tattoos.

14 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Well, he likely still has enough money to assure he won't be railroaded. He'll get a damned good defense. It'll be interesting when the evidence is unsealed, to see if Ol' Aaron underestimated what needs to be done to ensure digitally stored information won't be recovered. Here's a hint for all you aspiring felons; breaking things into small pieces sometimes doesn't get it done.

15 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Yeah, that part of the story confuses me. If he's trying to prevent someone from reading his texts, or from seeing his call log, doesn't he know that this information is held by telecom companies for a period of time, and available to police with a warrant? and doesn't he realize that destroying his cell phone to prevent police from seeing that information is basically the definition of probable cause?

38 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Short of having video of the crime scene, I can't think of anything that would be more incriminating than the act of destroying the phone itself. If you've got enough of a window, it's much simpler (and less incriminating) to replace the memory card than it is to destroy the phone.

59 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Hell, a simple '911' text is incriminating - and stored on the server. What it comes down to is this:

1. If they sent a text, they're boned.
2. If they did anything to activate their GPS, they're boned.
3. If they they called each other from the vicinity of the crime scene, they're boned.

119 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

You are not any smarter. GPS has nothing to do with locating the phone, neither have texts or voice calls. You can tell the location of the phone by the information from the base stations the phone periodically connects to when it is connected to a (voice or data) network. this data is held by the provider. If you switch phone and data communication off, there is no data.

He most definitely has a smartphone, so google, apple, and the nsa also know where his phone was.

I hate to say but I am afraid they will have trouble proving he pulled the trigger himself.

126 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

What happens when they all say they didn't shoot the guy personally?
Is there something like a grouped conviction?

Here in the Netherlands you can get away with a crime if there's no proof of which person did the crime. If all people involved say "I'm not the one who pulled the trigger" then no one can be convicted and everyone walks free.

224 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Conspiracy carries the same potential penalty as the underlying crime, so this isn't just a consolation prize for the state. Also note:

One important feature of a conspiracy charge is that it relieves prosecutors of the need to prove the particular roles of conspirators. If two persons plot to kill another (and this can be proven), and the victim is indeed killed as a result of the actions of either conspirator, it is not necessary to prove with specificity which of the conspirators actually pulled the trigger. (Otherwise, both conspirators could conceivably handle the gun—leaving two sets of fingerprints—and then demand acquittals for both, based on the fact that the prosecutor would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, which of the two conspirators was the triggerman). A conspiracy conviction requires proof that a) the conspirators did indeed conspire to commit the crime, and b) the crime was committed by an individual involved in the conspiracy. Proof of which individual it was is usually not necessary.

So if they all point to each other and say "He pulled the trigger!", they're all going to jail for a long time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(crime)#United_States

233 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I think there is some confusion because of the overload on the word "conspiracy."

Conspiracy works in exactly the way you describe above. If two people agree to commit a murder, and then they go about their actions and bring that murder about, then both are guilty of murder even if one person's role was to shoot someone with a gun, and the other person's role was something like convincing the target to meet in an out-of-the-way location.

In some jurisdictions there is another crime, not murder, called "conspiracy to commit murder" (or something similar). This crime doesn't require that an actual murder happen, just that two or more people agreed to murder someone and took steps to bring that about.

It's entirely possible to be guilty of both in the same way it would be possible to be guilty of both murder and attempted murder.

58 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

"If you've got enough of a window, it's much simpler (and less incriminating) to replace the memory card than it is to destroy the phone."

I suppose. Though, I certainly don't carry an extra memory card around for my phone, and I have no idea how I'd even change it. And, not being super tech-savvy, I'll say that the thought wouldn't have crossed my mind.

But if the options are: 1) see the pics I stupidly took of this dude I (or my friend) just shot in the head; or 2) give them a phone with all the tech parts smashed to bits, (2) seems better, no?

Someone talked about just deleting the pics/video (if there were any), but isn't it the case that just deleting a file doesn't actually permanently delete it? And that tech guys can find those files?

65 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

But that's my exact point - the only thing worth destroying the phone over is actual photos/videos of the crime scene. Short of that, and the act of destroying the phone is more incriminating than anything that could have actually been concealed by destroying the phone.

And seriously - mistakes in the heat of the moment is one thing, but who could possibly be dumb enough to photos/videos of the crime scene?

70 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Yes, generally deleting a file just removes its entry in the file directory. The OS can't see it, but it's still there if you have the tools to find it in another way.

This is why there is a quick and full format for a drive - the former just wipes the file registry, while the latter actually goes through and changes all the bits individually.

81 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Formatting a drive does not stop or even slow down a competent computer forensic tech. The "shadow" of the data is still pretty easily brought back. Even multiple overwrites can be worked through to recover data though that is when things get "iffy". If you want to keep data private encrypt it otherwise there will always be some doubt. (Most encryption programs can be broken eventually but it ups the difficulty factor incredibly if you have invested in a reasonably good one.)
The reality of the digital gae is anything can be hacked. Anyone how is shocked by the NSA gleaning information from various sources has simply not been paying attention.

148 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

For magnetic media, yes. For flash storage it is trickier.

On one hand, if the data is truly overwritten in the flash, it doesn't have the 'shadow' that magnetic drives do.

On the other, most OS's 'full format' only overwrites what the OS thinks is the storage space, but a flash drive typically manages 5% to 25% spare area and even if the OS overwrites the data many times it might not actually overwrite the spot that has your data on it. For this reason, it is typical to be able to recover fragments of data after a full format of a solid state device.

Your best option is to subject it to very high temperatures or something that can physically pulverize or grind into sand-sized bits.

For a magnetic hard drive, you can overwrite the bits on disk a few hundred times to remove the 'shadow'.

24 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

If not for the guy taking a dirtnap, it'd be kinda' amusing to watch an incredibly physically and financially blessed person, whose daily planner should have, as it's first entry every morning, "Don't be such an A-hole as to get arrested", fail to clear even that somewhat low bar.

42 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I don't think it's quite that silly. Prior to what we just learned about the NSA surveillance, it's very easy to trace phone data if you have the number, but very difficult to identify the number being used. Presumably, those phones were pre-paid burn phones; destroy and dispose of the phones, and the police are looking for a needle in the haystack.

45 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Yes, it depends on how gangsta Hernandez and his buddies are. People know that disposable phones are mostly untraceable.

But disposable phones are usually bare bones things without bells and whistles. My assumption was that the phone was destroyed because it had photo evidence in it, not because of any phone numbers. Which raised the question: why destroy the phone instead of just deleting the photos? Either the photos are on the central server, in which case they're screwed anyway, or a simple deletion should suffice. And then overwrite them with hundreds of other photos. Or one long video.

55 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I think we can assume that none of them expected anybody to get killed that night, and they were using their regular phones because, well, the most incriminating thing on it would be drug use or cheating on a girlfriend.

Short of taking video or photos of the murder or crime scene itself (which, good god, is even stupider than destroying the phone), the worst thing the local data could do is establish that they were with the victim at the time of death. Really, though, that's probably already on their GPS data (which, again, their service provider already has).

The most incriminating thing would be text messages - even if they don't explicitly mention the death, will provide evidence of either conspiracy or obstruction. A simple "URGENT - come here right now!" is evidence of conspiracy. A coded message like "You need to pick up after your dog" indicates conspiracy in context. The best course of action would have been to make it look like self-defense after an argument got out of control, and then turning yourself in together with lawyers present.

Of course, all of this is easy to say when (a) you're not connected to the crime, and (b) have had time to think about it. In the heat of the moment, I can see even a genius making stupid mistake after stupid mistake.

64 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Maybe Hernandez never watched "The Sopranos", and thus missed the lesson pertaining to the geographical advantage to committing planned murders, ala Big Pussy, near the ocean. I'm sure he could have called his boss, and said "Uh, coach, may I borrow your boat for a few hours?"

25 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

What I'm confused by after all of this is the general sense I had at the time that the Pats extended him that the best thing for the team was to keep Gronkowski and Welker and assume that Hernandez would eventually get a big money deal elsewhere. I thought Welker was the much more important offensive player and couldn't understand the prioritization there, age aside. Once Brady goes, it won't really matter that much; they'll have to rebuild to some extent anyway, and Welker seemed like he could have lasted through the rest of Brady's career... Hindsight is obviously 20-20, but I think the team made a very foolish personnel decision even without this arrest.

36 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

It's not just hindsight. I thought it was clear that Welker was by far the most productive receiver of the three, and yet he was the one treated the worst. I really think it became personal between Belichick and him.

And now he'll have an All-Pro season for the Broncos while the money that could have been spent to retain him was wasted on Hernandez.

Oh, but Welker dropped a pass in the Super Bowl. Which apparently was the only mistake made by an otherwise perfect team.

51 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

This smacks of revisionism. Welker is significantly older than Hernandez. Nobody in their right mind would give him a seven year deal over Hernandez last October, especially in the context of what the Patriots do offensively. Absolutely nobody.

Additionally, it's not an either/or equation. Belichick could have easily afforded both, but came to the conclusion that Welker's value was not commensurate to what Welker and his agent were looking for. He was right.

120 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

"Belichick could have easily afforded both, but came to the conclusion that Welker's value was not commensurate to what Welker and his agent were looking for. He was right."

I assume you're referring only to the whopping $1M/year difference in market offers as your measure of each side's respective "value" judgments. Instead I'll reserve judgment based on Welker's actual value on the field of play over the next two years. That's the thing about the NFL free agent market-- it's not always right, and sometimes it's not even close. This debate is ultimately going to be decided by performance, not based on who pulled what over on whom (and in what amount) in the marketplace.

141 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Value is what a player can get on the market. Not one of the 32 teams offered Welker close to what he and his agent were seeking. And only two were willing to pay him what he ultimately signed for.

Either their was rampant collusion (not impossible) or Belichick pegged Welker's value much more accurately than Welker or his agent did.

The market is the market. We saw how it valued Welker.

145 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

And my point is, that will all be small consolation if Welker averages 120/1400/8 (i.e. what he's done for the Patriots the past two seasons) for the Broncos while Amendola gets hurt again. But I have actually heard this argument before-- only the market matters so Belichick is already "right", as if individual team factors and actual future performance don't matter. Well, the market is highly imperfect, and the shrewdest financial analysts aren't awarded the Super Bowl regardless. (Again, the Patriots played out this particular game and "won" a whopping $1M/year in the player exchange, if that.)

So what is Amendola's "value"? As far as I know, the Patriots were the only serious suitor. So did they "win", just because Belichick's decisions are self-validating?

Hell, let's let the thing play out at least. It's not like Belichick's market/value assessments have never been wrong before-- Adalius Thomas, Haynesworth, Ochocinco, etc.

181 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Adalius I'll give you - that was like emptying one's wallet to bet on the favorite, which then finishes out of the money. The other two, especially Haynesworth, are more like plunking down $2 on a 30:1 longshot. Most don't pan out, but occasionally one finds a Mike Vrabel or re-ignites a Randy Moss.

193 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

A 30:1 longshot is an exaggeration. I included Haynesworth and Ochocinco for a reason-- their restructured contracts were not insignificant, and in fact were not terribly different than the two-year deal Welker just received from the Broncos. Haynesworth was paid $5.5M for 6 games of work, and Ochocinco $7M for an empty season (both players were cut with a year remaining on their contracts, in two-deals like Welker's). Yes, both acquisitions were made via trade, but even at the time it was perceived that Belichick was taking risks and paying above the sacred "market value" to do so.

Bottom line, especially given these other data points I still don't understand the squeeze that was put on Welker over $1M/year or so (even while acknowledging that Welker's agent initially overplayed his hand-- which easily could have been managed in committed post-free agent negotiations). And that's not just revisionism in light of the Hernandez situation.

137 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

To the extent that I've been saying for 12 months that the Pats should retain Welker, it's not revisionism.

But no, it's not an either-or. Or it shouldn't have been.

I have no idea why you think Belichick was right about Welker when we have yet to see Week One of this season. Let's not forget that Belichick has ended up offering a good deal more money to Amendola than he (or the Broncos) offered to Welker. So are you saying that Belichick is correct to think that Amendola will be a better receiver this Fall than Welker?

163 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I trust the Patriots saying they did a lot more than I trust an agent who just got his ass kicked on the market. He's trying to save face.

You can chose to believe what you want.

When it comes down to it, we know they offered him an extension the year before before he signed the franchise tag, and he turned it down. They were willing to pay him 9.6M for one year, so I'd be real suprised that they next year they wouldn't go 2/10.

What probably happened is they offered him 2/$10-16, the agent told him he could get more, and when he realized he couldn't, Ammendola had already been signed and the offer was off the table.

30 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Pats should not have cut him. Not even because he has the right to be presumed innocent, that's a matter for the courts, not the NFL.

They should not have cut him so they could have made every effort to recoup as much of his bonuses as possible, not for cap room but because I think keeping money away from murderers and those that protect them is a very reasonable thing to do.

I understand the desire to avoid the PR hit but at this stage I don't see how hard it would be to simply explain, "We're going to try to pevent him from pocketing all that money."

61 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

This'll likely be a slamdunk lawsuit; the criminal proceeding will establish all facts to a higher standard than what a civil lawsuit requires. I'm not sure how easy it is to hide assets in Massachusetts, via bankruptcy or other means, from a wrongful death judgement. It can be a real battle; I don't know how much Nicole Simpson's family ever recovered, for instance, from O.J., after getting, what, a 30 or 40 million dollar judgement? I think O.J. may have run through all his cash in his criminal defense, however, and what he had left was his sizable self-funded pension, which was immune to such a judgement. Somebody at some time gave O.J. some very good legal/financial advice as to how to protect himself from himself.

112 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Nicole's estate (the children) received 12.5M of the judgement. Their odds of actually seeing it are higher than the Goldman family, however, because the kids are also O.J.'s inheritors. As such, anything at risk of being seized by the Goldman's can be transferred to them first; they'll also get everything OJ managed to hide in Florida real estate.

34 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I'm actually surprised that the Pats released him this quickly, without finding out more about the charges. It's not like this case won't be tied to the Pats anyway. When other contending teams have run into cases like this (Ray Lewis, Roethlisberger), the teams have stood by, waiting for the legal system to run its course. The exception was Rae Carruth. I have to be impressed by the Patriots taking the high road so early here; they didn't have to.

Aaron, I think you should run those numbers again, this time including games where both Gronk and Hernandez were out. Also, splitting out games against the Jets may be useful, since the Pats play two Rex Ryan defenses in the first week, when Gronk may not be available. The first couple of weeks may be tough. On the plus side for them, adding Jamie Collins will drastically improve their pass rush, so the defense may be up to the challenge.

39 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I suspect the Patriots know a good deal more about what the charges are than we do.

There's a huge gap between the Roethlisberger case and the Lewis and Hernandez cases. I think there's a lot more damning information about Hernandez than even about Lewis. And there's a difference between a fight that gets out of control and a bullet to the back of the head. One is arguably manslaughter (and indeed, nobody was ever convicted of the primary crime) while the other looks like first or second degree murder.

76 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Probably but it might not even be about having specific knowledge of the charges. It could be a matter of not wanting to deal with having a player on the roster who has close ties to a murder case. I don't like to get deep into the pop psychology of sports but there's almost no argument against that being an off the field distraction. Otherwise your players, coaches and management deal with a season of questions about their relationship to Hernandez and if he'll be able to play. How the case effects the team.

If I was the Patriots I'd cut the guy to distance my team from him and for good PR.

150 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

This is simply not true. Several players THIS YEAR have been cut by teams shortly after arrest.

They simply are not high profile players.

The U.T. San Diego NFL Arrests database has lots of info:

http://www.utsandiego.com/nfl/arrests-database/

For example, did you know this is the second day in a row that an NFL player was arrested and cut by a team?

Yes, ONE DAY PRIOR to this, another player was arrested for attempted murder and cut by a team. Have a look above before judging what is 'normal' in the NFL in relation to criminal offenses.

63 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Or, you could argue that they did the immoral thing because they are the Patriots and everything they do is evil.

I'm a Patriots fan, and even I think you're behaving childishly about this. If they did the immoral thing, it's for not allowing the justice system to take its course before making a decision.

Whining about people who claim the site is biased only helps their claims.

82 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Agree.

I think Aaron's fear of being biased is negatively affecting his work at this point. Pretty much every comment he posts is hedged heavily in the opposite way. He IS biased at this point, but the bias is the opposite way. He's so afraid of sounding like a Pats homer (which hes not) that hes no longer rational about the team.

109 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Good grief. I'd hate to have my every word parsed down to see if there was some sort of hidden bias. As Foghorn Leghorn once said, "That Rhode Island Red turned white. Then blue. Rhode Island. Red, white, and blue. That's a joke, son."

Disclaimer: Packers fan. Still waiting to see if GB has real running backs.

165 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Get over yourself. If you don't like this site you are able to go and read quite a lot of other websites. Aaron does not have to jump to your every demand and has always made it clear that he will continue to support the team that made him love the game enough to build a site devoted to football.

I really don't like the Pats (spy gate etc) but there is nothing in the way he has covered this that suggests he has a hidden agenda. It is consistent with the way they have handled similar cases, this is neither a NFL news ticker or an NFL gossip site.

Aaron is not the one whining here.

194 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Agreed. For reference, I am a Panthers fan who also dislikes the Patriots.

There has been more bias from the anti-Patriots people than from Aaron in all of this nonsense. I imagine that the people being so hard headed in all of this are the very types of people that would react even worse than Aaron has if they were subjected to similarly ridiculous accusations. Note that I am not referring to the people that were very simply seeking a forum for discussing the topic, without accusing Aaron of anything. I'm referring to the people that will make accusations of Patriots bias toward the entire staff when there's really only one Patriots fan that I can think of on staff.

71 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

I see this entire situation a little differently than most posters it appears (read some, skimmed most), but that's probably because I'm an attorney.

In order to get a warrant, the police must prove to a judge that there is probable cause (effectively a more likely than not standard) of evidence of a specific crime at the location. And the police got more than one for locations/property relating to Hernandez. Not a good sign.

Now you don't know what you are charged with until arraignment - the whole "your under arrest for the such-and-such crime" is just TV. My guess is that Patriots' legal counsel called the local DA to get a sense of the charges before arraignment (it happens with high profile businesses). And since New England cut him, its unlikely he's facing a simple obstruction of justice charge. More probable is that he is facing accessory (before and after) and conspiracy, even without the first/second degree murder charge. And in case you are unaware, a conspiracy conviction puts you on the hook for all crimes committed in furtherance, i.e., he'll get hit with conspiracy for murder (not a MA attorney, but generally 10-20 years).

But all of this is just a guess premised on the notion that cutting a guy for ONLY an obstruction of justice charge is going overboard. I'm not commenting on whether I think he's guilty of any of this - I have way too little evidence to come to a reasoned conclusion - but just giving my viewpoint on why the Patriots probably cut him.

79 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

As an attorney myself I had similar thoughts this morning. I know the Pats are saying that they planned on releasing Hernandez if he was arrested at all but I'm not totally buying it- my hunch is that they received word that there's about to be some more serious charges. We'll see.

130 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

Good prediction; likewise Modell and Newsome must have figured that Ray Lewis was going to find a way to only get an obstruction of justice conviction in 2000, when they gave him no in-house punishment.

Yes, Ausar Walcott is being pretty severely overshadowed in all of this (although I guarantee that even most very serious Browns fans had no idea who he was until today.)

72 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

"so you could argue that they did the moral thing by cutting him now instead of waiting to see what he would be charged with"

I'm not sure how you could argue that at all. Wise? Probably, but moral?

The moral thing would be to make sure he actually did it before cutting him. You know, presumption of innocence and all.

Now, he probably did do it, but we don't know that yet.

92 Re: Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez After Police Make Arrest

He isn't good enough to justify the public relations cost, the hostility it would likely cultivate from the league office, and just the general pain in the ass it would be, especially since the likelihood of him skating is likely no better than 5% and probably less than that.
Rolling dice doesn't makes sense when you are playing with 20 sided die, and when failing to get very lucky costs a lot, and when even getting very lucky doesn't deliver anything all that spectacular. Hell, it wouldn't make any sense if Mr. Bundchen was being arrested today.