The New England Patriots wasted no time releasing Aaron Hernandez following his arrest earlier this morning. Former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick said on NFL Network’s NFL AM that he was surprised by their swift and quick action.
That quick action suggests to Brian Billick that team officials knew a “good deal” about what lies ahead for Aaron Hernandez in this case. We’ve already learned that Hernandez won’t be granted bail.
“Virtually every club in the league,” Billick said, “via the NFL as a whole and individually, have any number of staff — security staff — that, as you said, are former FBI or former detectives there, in the principalities which they reside, that are there (on) full-time status to monitor, help the players transition as they travel … but obviously with their connections with a number of these institutions, that they’re able to tap back into relationships that they have to find out what’s going on.”
Added Billick: “Now, did they know exactly what (Hernandez is) going to be charged with? Possibly, possibly not.”
Billick isn’t a stranger to this situation and dealt with it when Ray Lewis plead guilty to obstruction of justice in 2000.
“We’ve seen this before, where players are released after DUIs or domestic abuse, spousal abuse,” Billick said. “Charges, not criminally prosecuted, but just charges, and most people don’t say anything about it. With a player the caliber or the notoriety of Hernandez is what makes this so special, the fact that they’ve cut the relationship so quickly, you’re right, this clearly makes this a much easier way for the organization to move past this for this not to be a distraction going forward.”