The New England Patriots have released tight end Aaron Hernandez following his Wednesday morning arrest and below is their statement on the matter.
— Boston Globe Sports (@BGlobeSports) June 26, 2013
“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 the right thing to do.”
While Hernandez has yet to be formerly charged, Greg Beddard of Sports Illustrated thinks the Patriots decision to release Hernandez now means well-connected team security director Mark Briggs thinks this is going to get much worse for the Florida product.
23-year-old Hernandez signed a five-year contract extension worth $40 million, so the Patriots will have some dead money to eat this year and next, but they obviously want to distance themselves from Hernandez at whatever the cost.
Since being drafted by the Patriots in 2010, Hernandez has registered 175 regular season catches for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Patriots in Week 9 of the 2013 season.