The New England Patriots have received their share of unfair criticism during the fallout of the Aaron Hernandez situation, because of the $40 million contract extension they gave him just a year ago. While it is easy to criticize and take shots at the Patriots, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.
NFL security director Jeff Miller spoke with Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, and he made it clear that the team had done everything in their power to check out Hernandez’s background and that the situation that arose was nothing that anyone could have ever imagined would have occurred.
“That’s a difficult criticism to make of any club,” Miller said. “It’s hard to predict how a young man is going to perform and mature. Certainly there are players who have been drafted where teams know they are taking a calculated risk. Sometimes, the risk is greater than others.
“Hindsight is always 20/20 in a situation where a player gets into serious trouble and people say, ‘See, I knew this was going to happen.’ Even though I’m sure there are a lot of clubs that have concerns about certain players going into the draft, if those players are drafted, the teams try to work with them through their player engagement and security personnel to take the steps necessary to prevent the kinds of things that can cause big problems to a player and a team.”
Teams do an incredible job evaluating players, but it is important to remember that everything is not in their control.
You would like to believe that money could keep a guy on the right path, but sometimes the ties to their past are too strong and something happens that none of us could have ever seen coming. First-degree murder is one of those things that no one can ever predict.