Less than two hours after Massachusetts State Police arrested Aaron Hernandez at his home in North Attleboro, the New England Patriots announced that they have released the 23-year-old tight end.
The New England #Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 26, 2013
While the move isn’t exactly shocking given the fact that Hernandez currently has strong ties to a murder investigation, it is surprising that the Patriots moved so quickly. Hernandez’s charges aren’t even being revealed to the public until he is arraigned in court on Wednesday, but it’s obvious New England either knows more than we do or wants nothing to do with the distraction anymore.
The Patriots released a statement immediately following Hernandez’s release, which the Boston Globe’s Shalize Manza Young shared with us:
“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply he right thing to do.”
Clearly, the Patriots do not think there’s a chance that Hernandez is completely innocent. At the very least, many have speculated Hernandez will be charged with obstruction of justice after he destroyed potential evidence and turned it over to police. As Ross Tucker of the NBC Sports Network pointed out, NFL teams have security departments who have close relationships with local authorities, so it would be safe to assume the team knows more about the case than the public.
I mentioned earlier how I expect investigators to move slowly and meticulously given the high-profile nature of the case. Apparently the same was not true at all for the Patriots organization.
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