Bill Belichick was recently interviewed by Massachusetts detectives who are investigating one of the murders that Aaron Hernandez has been charged with. Belichick, Robert Kraft and several other members of the New England Patriots organization gave statements to authorities. What we found particularly interesting was how often Belichick and Hernandez texted each other in the months leading up to the Odin Lloyd murder.
Jenny Wilson of The Hartford Courant reports that prosecutors turned over 33 pages of text messages that were exchanged between Belichick and his former tight end from February 2013 to May 2013. That’s at least several hundred texts. Odin Lloyd was shot and killed on June 17, 2013.
Considering all of those text messages were exchanged during the offseason, that seems like a ton of communication between a coach and player. Based on some of the stuff we heard when Hernandez was first arrested, we shouldn’t really be surprised.
In March 2013, police were reportedly called to Hernandez’s rental home in Hermosa Beach, Calif. after he allegedly put his fist through a window during an argument with his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins. No charges were filed, but Belichick was supposedly made aware of the incident and “exploded” on Hernandez, telling him that he would be traded or cut if he didn’t shape up.
Prior to the alleged domestic dispute, Hernandez reportedly flew to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis to confide in Belichick that he believed his life was in danger. Belichick allegedly advised Hernandez to rent a safe house and lay low for a while when the former Florida Gator said he was worried a group of gangsters wanted to kill him.
The question is how much did Belichick and the Patriots know. There have been various reports about Hernandez’s alleged paranoia in the months leading up to Lloyd’s murder, and we all know there have been concerns about his off-field behavior since he was in college. In all likelihood, Belichick checked in with Hernandez frequently to make sure he was staying out of trouble. That doesn’t necessarily mean he had any information he should have gone to the police with.