Former New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light was one of the most well-liked players in the NFL during his 11-year career. He may have gotten some grief for dancing shirtless with Rob Gronkowski after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl in 2012, but Light has never been one to bash another player or make controversial remarks.
On Wednesday, Tom Archdeacon of the Dayton Daily News wrote that he has known Light for a very long time and has never heard him “speak ill” of another player. When speaking to him on Tuesday — a day before Aaron Hernandez was even arrested — Archdeacon asked Light about his former teammate.
But Tuesday when I asked the former New England Patriot star tackle about his old teammate – tight end Aaron Hernandez – his easy smile quickly vanished and he went silent for several seconds as he decided what, if anything, he would say.
‘I never talk about other guys, but I will say I have never embraced – never believed in – anything Aaron Hernandez stood for,’ Light finally said.
The recently-retired Light – who won three Super Bowl rings and went to four Pro Bowls in his 11 year career – insinuated that Hernandez, with whom he played alongside for two years, has always had his own agenda – and it wasn’t a good one.”
Again, Light made his comments before Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder. The players currently on the Patriots roster will be under strict orders to not speak to the media about Hernandez, but I’m sure many of them would agree with Light. Even Hernandez’s former coaches at Florida said he spent more time with his friends from home than his teammates, and there have always been questions about who he associates with.
If Hernandez did indeed have gang ties as was recently reported, some of his teammates probably would have been aware or had a hunch. The question becomes why would the Patriots sign him to a $40 million extension if players like Light sensed he was bad news. Then again, bad news could mean staying out late and partying too much. No one could have anticipated a murder trial.