Aaron Hernandez wrote letter to Patriots addressing drug use concerns
On Monday, Robert Kraft broke the silence on behalf of the New England Patriots and finally addressed the murder charge of former tight end Aaron Hernandez. In speaking to reporters about how shocked he has been by the details surrounding the case, Kraft referred to a letter Hernandez sent the organization before they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
As most of you know, there were concerns about Hernandez’s past use of recreational drugs when he was coming out of college. Rumors swirled that he had failed multiple tests for marijuana while at Florida, and Hernandez knew it was hurting his draft stock. Knowing that New England was one of the teams that was interested in him, he wrote a letter to Patriots personnel executive Nick Caserio.
The letter is quite interesting for those of you who are interested in getting inside the mind of someone who could be a murderer. The full text is posted below, courtesy of Boston.com’s Ben Volin:
Dear Mr. Caserio,
I am writing in regards to some of the feedback I am receiving from my agents, Florida coaches, and other personnel. These sources have indicated that NFL teams have questions about my alleged use of marijuana. I personally answered these questions during the pre-draft process, but understand that NFL teams want to conduct thorough due diligence before making the significant financial investment inherent in a high draft pick. I have no issue with these questions being asked, but thought that it made the most sense to communicate with you directly regarding this issue so you would not have to rely upon second-hand information.
Any information I volunteer to you about my past will be looked at with great skepticism as I am trying to get drafted as high as possible by an NFL team. As such, I thought that the best way to answer your questions and your concerns was to make a very simple proposition. If you draft me as a member of the New England Patriots, I will willfully submit to a bi-weekly drug test throughout my rookie season (8 drug tests during the 2010 regular season). In addition, I will tie any guaranteed portion of my 2010 compensation to these drug tests and reimburse the team a pro-rata amount for any failed drug test. My agents have explained that a direct forfeiture provision in my contract along these lines would violate the CBA rules. However, I have instructed them to be creative in finding a contract structure that would work on in the worst case scenario, I would donate the pro-rata portion of any guaranteed money to the team’s choice of charities. My point is simple — if I fail a drug test, I do not deserve that portion of the money.
I realize that this offer is somewhat unorthodox, but it is also the only way I could think of to let you know how serious I am about reaching my potential in the NFL. My coaches have told you that nobody on our Florida team worked harder than me in terms of workouts, practices or games. You have your own evaluation as to the type of impact I can have on your offense. The only X-factor, according to the reports I have heard, is concerns about my use of recreational drugs. To address that concern, I am literally putting my money where my mouth is and taking the financial risk away from the team and putting it directly on my back where it belongs.
In closing, I ask you to trust me when I say you have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to me and the use of recreational drugs. I have set very high goals for myself in the NFL and am focused 100% on achieving those goals. So, test me all you want during my rookie year … all of the results will be negative while I am having an overwhelmingly positive impact on the field.
Good luck with your preparations for the NFL Draft and feel free to contact me or my agency (Athletes First/David Dunn) with any questions.
University of Florida
While the Patriots are responsible for drafting a player whose checkered past stuck with him in a huge way, Kraft noted on Monday that Hernandez “duped” the organization and knew how the “push my buttons.” After reading the letter, you can see how convincing Hernandez was in practically begging the Patriots for a shot. Then again, he only mentioned drugs. As we know now, drug use was just the tip of the iceberg.