The New England Patriots did not wait long to rid themselves of the problem that Aaron Hernandez has become. Hours after being taken away from his mansion in handcuffs, the Patriots cut the tight end despite the fact they’ll have to face serious salary cap ramifications for doing so. But still, the Patriots wanted to distance themselves from Hernandez as much as they could and you don’t end an relationship any better than simply cutting a guy loose.
After releasing Hernandez, the Patriots issued a statement saying that it was the right thing to do and that murder isn’t what the team wants to be associated with.
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.
As Mike Florio from PFT.com pointed out, the Patriots are taking a serious hit in the salary cap by cutting Hernandez loose and they won’t be able to recover any of the guaranteed money they’ve given him. Obviously Robert Kraft will likely attempt to do what Arthur Blank did with Michael Vick and somehow try to get some money back, but it’s a very serious statement that the Patriots are making as they’re not living and dying by the almighty dollar here, they’re actually making a decision based on morals.
Hernandez is involved in something very serious and while he’s yet to be convicted of anything, the Patriots are letting the world know that they’re not interested in being associated with someone who conducts himself in a manner Hernandez allegedly has.