Ex-Patriots star Aaron Hernandez charged in double-murder 0
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez attends a pre-trial hearing at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., Oct. 9, 2013. (Reuters)
In the end, the only NFL career marks Aaron Hernandez will own are unofficial -- all for infamy.
Most murder raps?
Most felony convictions?
He’s not done competing for those, apparently.
Bottom line, the former star tight end of the New England Patriots might forever hold the unofficial league benchmark for so stupidly, and so quickly, throwing away so promising a pro football career.
On Thursday the 24-year-old Hernandez -- already in jail as he awaits trial on a 2013 murder charge -- was indicted on a double-murder charge in the July 2012 deaths of two Massachusetts men.
The Suffolk County district attorney alleges Hernandez used a handgun to “ambush and execute” two men after they drove away from a Boston nightclub on July 16, 2012.
“Unbeknownst to them, Hernandez followed them travelling in an SUV,” Suffolk County DA Daniel Conley said, per reports.
“The SUV pulled up beside the victims’ car on the right. Aaron Hernandez then fired a .38-calibre revolver multiple times from the driver’s side of his vehicle into the passenger side of the victims’ vehicle.”
The pair died from bullet wounds -- to the chest of one man, to the head of the other.
At the time, Hernandez’s role was unknown. Six weeks later, in late August 2012, he signed a five-year contract extension with the Pats worth up to $40 million.
Hernandez has not yet been arraigned on the double-murder charge, nor on the other new charges he faces, which include assault and firearms violations.
Last June, Hernandez was jailed without bond and charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
The Patriots released Hernandez within hours of that arrest.
He has not exactly tried to keep a remorseful, low profile while locked up.
Just two weeks ago, a grand jury indicted the former University of Florida player on assault and battery charges, as well as threats to do bodily harm at a jail in Bristol, Conn.
Hernandez is alleged to have punched an inmate and knocked him to the ground.
The threats arise from a separate incident. Hernandez allegedly was so miffed that a jail guard thwarted his schemes to score extra food that he threatened to shoot and kill the guard.
Hernandez had all kinds of off-field troubles in college, which is why he wasn’t drafted until the fourth round in 2010. He played just three seasons in the NFL, catching 185 passes for 18 touchdowns.
A wise old football coach I knew in Northern Ontario, the late Sid Forster, referred to super-talented players who inexplicably can’t get it together mentally as “$20-million airports with $20 control towers.”
To apply that saying to Hernandez would be to undervalue his airport and severely overvalue his control tower.
MILES AUSTIN TO BROWNS
Maybe now we know why the Cleveland Browns didn’t do much restocking of their depleted wide-receiver ranks in the draft.
On Thursday the Browns signed Miles Austin, a Dallas Cowboy for the first eight years of his career. The former two-time Pro Bowler caught 34 touchdowns in Dallas.
The Browns also signed former Chicago Bears receiver Earl Bennett.
Santonio Holmes, the former Steeler and Jet, also worked out this week with the Browns, per reports. Holmes battled a nasty Lisfranc injury in his final two seasons in New York.
MICHAEL SAM UPDATE
After keeping such a low pre-draft profile for three months after coming out as gay, Michael Sam appears to be backtracking now that he has joined a team -- the St. Louis Rams. After it came out this week that a documentary film crew is chronicling the seventh-round draft pick’s life, and that he will have his own reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Sam is beginning to hear criticism.
A new Rams teammate is questioning Sam’s decision.
“It’s an interesting case that he gets to work with Oprah and have his own show, but I think it does raise eyebrows and it may be somewhat of a distraction,” the player told Josina Anderson of ESPN. “But this is our first time dealing with something like this, so we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, and how people react.”
Over the next several days, NFL teams will be working out their newly drafted players and undrafted rookie free-agent signees. They can only work out on the field with one another -- no veterans allowed.
Already NFL teams are signing their draft picks to contracts. With so little wiggle room anymore, especially for late-round picks, there’s not a lot for teams and player agents to haggle over. Even some top picks have already signed, such as No. 5 overall linebacker Khalil Mack with the Oakland Raiders.
JIM KELLY UPDATE
Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has eight more radiation treatments and one last course of chemotherapy to endure this month in his second battle with cancer in two years, according to Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News.
Kelly beat jaw cancer last year, but tests in March revealed the cancer has returned and spread into a sinus cavity and up his infraorbital nerve, Gaughan reported.
The Hall of Famer might have to wait until August to learn how successful the treatments were.
On Thursday Kelly issued a statement in which he vowed to beat the disease, and urged Western New York fans of the Bills to show their support and thereby compel prospective bidders on the team to keep the team in the Buffalo area.
GENO ‘HARD TO BEAT OUT’
Jets head coach Rex Ryan told WFAN sports radio in New York that second-year quarterback Geno Smith will be “hard to beat out” by veteran Michael Vick.