By Cristian Nunez
NFL careers do not typically last for long, and many a pro football player has run into the law. However, few have fallen as fast or as hard as former New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez.
On Wed., June 26, Hernandez was led away from his Massachusetts home. Hours later he was arraigned and charged with murder and five other gun charges. Hours later he was released from the New England Patriots, all this after two very successful seasons in the NFL and a trip to the Pro-Bowl. Hernandez was picked in the fourth round of the 2010 draft because of his questionable past.
As a Florida Gator, Hernandez got into an altercation with a bouncer and failed a drug test. However, this hardly affected his amazing career in Florida and did not stop the New England Patriots from taking a risk on him. For two seasons it seemed as though this risk paid off. In only his second game as a NFL tight end, Hernandez became the youngest player since 1960 to top 100 yards. He concluded his rookie year with 45 catches for 563 yards and 6 touchdowns. He would follow his break-out rookie season with an even better one in 2011, catching 79 throws for 910 yards, going with his fellow Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI, and taking a trip to the Pro-Bowl. Aaron’s numbers were down in an injury-plagued 2012, but that did not stop him from signing a $40 million five- year contract with the New England Patriots.
All of this has been eclipsed by the murder of Odin Lloyd, a 27 year-old semi-pro-football player who grew up in Hernandez’s home town of Bristol, Conn. Hernandez dated the sister of Lloyd’s girlfriend and is believed to have made friends with Lloyd through her. However, days before the murder on June 14, Hernandez is believed to have seen Lloyd speaking to “people he did not like” at a Boston night club. Evidence suggests that Lloyd was executed with five bullets to the body by Hernandez and two other accomplices in an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s residence on the morning of June 17. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty on all charges and faces arraignment Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. in Fall River Superior Court.
Aaron Hernandez’s arrest gained the most attention this summer for obvious reasons; however, he was far from alone. In 2013 alone 45 NFL players have been arrested, and the season has yet to begin. Of course, none of them committed a crime quite as heinous as that of Hernandez. The arrests of 2013 include everything from traffic violations, public intoxication, DUI, drug and weapon possessions, to assault and battery. A San Diego newspaper has noticed the trend of NFL delinquency and currently maintains the NFL Arrests Database, which records the name, position, and crime of the delinquent player. Delinquency, it appears is not isolated to a few troubled players but, rather, is a trend with no end in sight in the NFL.