Keeping Score

Belichick Shouldn’t Dodge Aaron Hernandez Questions

Belichick reportedly had unique insight into Hernandez's state of mind before a murder charge. Will he share the details?

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Bill Belichick is famous for stonewalling the press. That’s fine — though sometimes silly — for matters like updates on injured players. But a new Rolling Stone story strongly suggests that Belichick was quite aware of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s state of mind before Hernandez allegedly committed murder in June.

Wow. No dodges on this one, please.

The Hernandez profile describes a paranoid NFL player who was addicted to angel dust and kept bad company. Paul Solotaroff and Ron Borges write that “according to a source close to Hernandez, he flew to the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this past February and confided to Belichick that his life was in danger.” Hernandez had become friends with gangsters, and he was worried that they were trying to kill him, the authors write. This spring, Hernandez also missed rehab assignments in California and blew off quarterback Tom Brady, who was running a camp for the team’s receivers.

Belichick, Rolling Stone reports, heard about an incident in which police were called to Hernandez’s rental home in California. In that episode, Hernandez allegedly put his fist through a window after an argument with his fiancée.

Belichick was furious, and “tendered notice: any more disruptions and [Hernandez would] be traded or cut at the end of the 2013 season.” When Hernandez returned to Boston, “Belichick, per a close Hernandez associate, had told him to lay low, rent a safe house for a while.” Police reportedly later found ammunition at a condo Hernandez leased, which one of his associates called the “flophouse.”

(MORE: Myths and Facts About Angel Dust: Did PCP Drive Aaron Hernandez to Commit Murder?)

The details concerning the combine meeting, and the instructions to rent a safe house, did rely on anonymous sources “close to Hernandez.” But if they are true — and two other NFL reporters are saying Belichick and Hernandez indeed met at the combine — they’re remarkable.

Take, for example, the combine. For NFL executives, the February scouting combine is a crucial event. In the salary-cap era, good players go to a new team because their old team can no longer afford them; teams are always replenishing their parts through the draft. The draft is now one of the most popular events on the NFL calendar, as fans know a smart pick can instantly change the fortunes of their team. And thanks to smart drafting and talent evaluation, Belichick has built genius rep.

So the combine is critical. And now, Belichick’s supposedly meeting face to face with one of his key players, who is telling him that his life is in danger. That’s quite the distraction.

More important, Belichick had unique insight into Hernandez’s character. How paranoid was he? Where was his head? Did Hernandez’s demeanor appear different than what Belichick was used to?

Based on what we know, you can’t conclude that Belichick should have known Hernandez was going to commit an alleged murder. But it’s fair to ask: If Hernandez indeed told Belichick he feared for his life, to the point that Belichick recommended a safe house for Hernandez, why didn’t Belichick or the team involve law enforcement?

The safe bet is that Belichick won’t respond to the story. He can cite the ongoing legal case, or that he and the Patriots, who cut Hernandez loose after his arrest, are moving on.

I hope I’m wrong, and that he offers some honest insight. Instead of doing his usual dodge.

MORE: Aaron Hernandez Used PCP and Shocking Revelations

6 comments
commentonitall
commentonitall

Why is Belichick scum? Let's take a step back and look at Belichick for a moment.  This guy will not tolerate any crap from his players, especially if it will eventually come to the press.  The best example I can give is when Wes Welker made some jokes about the Jets head coach at a press conference.  Belichick sat Welker out of a play off game!  This is a coach that benched one of the best players they had at the time because he cracked a few jokes.  Now all you people seriously think he did what is alleged in this Rolling-Stone article.  How about we look at the source of the info, a friend of Hernandez.  Now we have all seen the types of people Hernandez hung out with and we are to take the word of those types of people?  Come on people use your brains.  @cjh2nd, please site an example of Belichick being scum other than hearsay, that's right you can't because the only reason you don't like him is that he is one of the best at what he does.

mynamewaschips
mynamewaschips

@dadaevan @TIME "Rent a safehouse" ?? That's the best line of all. How does that advice come out of an NFL coaches mouth? Bada bing Bill.

commentonitall
commentonitall

@mynamewaschips @dadaevan @TIME 

You do realize this is all hearsay from a friend of Hernandez.  You do realize the people Hernandez hung around with correct?  Bada bing you sound like an idiot.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

belichick is scum. of course he won't answer anything

JohnDooms
JohnDooms like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

Yes, because we the media need a story and it's inconvenient when you don't give us one on a silver platter.

STFU


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