We all know the story of how Aaron Hernandez, a very talented receiving tight end, threw his life away. In the 2013, Hernandez was suspected, arrested, and convicted for first degree murder and is serving the rest of his life in a prison about a couple miles from Gillette Stadium. After the conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd, prosecutors linked Hernandez to a double murder in 2012, while Hernandez was still employed by the Patriots. The Patriots cut Hernandez the day he was arrested and right before we found out what the charges were.
Hernandez was charged for the murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado near a Boston night club on July 16, 2012. After deliberation, the jury found Hernandez not guilty on both counts. Hernandez is still serving a life sentence, but could potentially appeal that sentence as well, since Hernandez was convicted through Massachusetts’ joint venture law. Even if the case, Hernandez’s NFL career is over because no team is going to want the PR hit and the potential poison in the locker room even if Hernandez is set free on appeal.
The news is particularly interesting for the Patriots on a cap basis as they signed Hernandez to a $40M extension during the 2012 offseason. Had Hernandez been found guilty, the Patriots could have filed a grievance to try to get a $3.25M cap credit since that was Hernandez’s pro-rated signing bonus for that season. Since that’s not the case, it has no effect on the Patriots’ current cap, which sits just above $19M with the draft being 2 weeks away.