As the ongoing investigation surrounding the homicide of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd continues circling around New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, the on-field play and offseason training of one of the NFL’s top players feels like a distant memory in comparison to the nonstop media coverage and speculation around what happened the night of Lloyd’s death.
According to NFL.com,
Around 5:25 p.m. ET, law enforcement officials exited Hernandez’s home carrying what appeared to be multiple evidence bags, which the officials loaded into an unmarked vehicle that then left. The remaining authorities at the home departed shortly thereafter.
A local police officer who was on site told NFL Network’s Rich Hollenberg that ‘this is way beyond what we’re used to.’
Even before he was drafted by the Patriots, Hernandez was already seemingly given a second chance by coach Bill Belichick.
Hernandez received his flier from the coach when he was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft in spite of multiple failed drug tests and a recently reported association with people with gang ties that had some teams steering clear.
After signing a contact extension that amounts to $41 million over the course of seven seasons with $12.5 million guaranteed if he could stay out of trouble, it seemed like Hernandez’s future was bright and a far cry from the reputation that hurt his draft stock three years ago.
‘He changed my life,’ Hernandez said. ‘Now I’m able to basically have a good chance to be set for life, and have a good life … He didn’t need to give me the amount that he gave me, and knowing that he thinks I deserve that, he trusts me to make the right decisions, it means a lot …
You can’t come here and act reckless and do your own stuff, and [I] was one of the persons that I came here, I might’ve acted the way I wanted to act, but you get changed by Bill Belichick’s way. You get changed by the Patriots’ way.’
When Aaron Hernandez’s career was just beginning to take off, watch a video of the future Patriots star training during a simpler offseason in 2010 – using resistance bands during agility drills, performing bicep curls, pull-ups and pushups, and catching passes while wearing clothing branded by one of his former sponsors, Muscle Milk, who dropped the tight end earlier today.
Though no charges have been formally filed yet, it seems unlikely that Hernandez will experience an offseason like 2010’s ever again.