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The Patriots Hernandez and Due Diligence

“Happy father’s day to all the great dads out there” was the last tweet I received from Aaron Hernandez. That was also the last time I smiled when I saw Aaron Hernandez name. A name that has made me grin more often than any football player who had ever played for the Pats. See, Aaron was a local kid, I watched him play high school ball followed him in college at Florida and was thrilled when the Pats took him in forth round of the 2010 draft…an All American talent local kid playing for the Patriots – I didn’t care that he slipped that far because of a few repots of him smoking weed.

Did any of us?

Later that same Fathers Day, Hernandez “allegedly” texted friends here in CT and started planning the murder he now sits in jail accused of. From the moment his name was linked to the brutal slaying of Odin Lloyd, stories of shootings in Fla, gang involvement and a double life started to surface. Fingers began being pointed at the Patriots and the Kraft family for drafting this kid in the first place and then daring to give him a contract extension that included the largest signing bonus ever given to a tight end – $12 million dollars. How could the Krafts – the champions of “The Patriot Way” – have done this, how could they not see the monster that wore their uniform? Where was the due diligence…where were their security people? How, where, why – there seemed to be more questions than all the hindsight reporters and talking heads in Boston and across the country had fingers to point, but they were all pointing at the Patriots, Bill Belichick and the Kraft’s.

I’m sorry, maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall anyone at the NFL draft calling Hernandez a bad seed, a punk or a gun toting psycho risk. The hundreds of reporters from the local or national media who follow every move that happens in Foxborough never said Aaron Hernandez was met in the parking lot after practice by a bunch of thugs, or that he had bought blocks of tickets for a hundred friends decked out head to toe in RED who he tossed Gang signs back and forth with during every home game. Did I miss that? Please enlighten me…did I not catch the ESPN, Comcast Sports Net , NESN reports on The North Attleboro police constantly being called to Hernandez home? No I didn’t and neither did you.

That’s why they call it a double life.

Moments after Hernandez’s arrest The Patriots released him. Cap hit be damned. Recuperating bonus money be damned….. Meanwhile

OJ is still a member of the Hall of Fame

Ray Lewis is sending out his resume to ESPN and the NFL network and polishing up his Hall of Fame induction speech.

Bathroom Ben Roethlisberger just finished up OTA’s and is getting set for camp and looking for a third super bowl ring.

Mike Vick is trying to hang onto his starting job and multi-million dollar contract.

So Can We all please Relax with giving the Kraft Family the Finger ?

I could go on with mentions all the way back to Frank Filchock and Merle Hepes fixing the 1946 Championship or Hall members Joe Namath, Paul Hornung and Webster’s dad Alex Karras hanging with mobsters.

Am I trying to protect anyone here – No…am I trying to compare crimes – No. What I am saying is that this goes on and has gone on across the span of the NFL timeline. Because you just never know until you know. And if you are talented enough, this league will even forgive and forget.

I am certainly not trying to protect or defend Aaron Hernandez, who it seems would rather have lived the life of a gangster than an NFL all Pro. A man who had made it to the very top of his profession, but found Thug life more exciting than touchdowns. A man who would rather emulate Tony Soprano than Tony Gonzalez a man who would rather spend Fathers Day planning a murder, than with his baby…“Allegedly” .

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