Aaron Hernandez may have been on PCP before Odin Lloyd murder

The Aaron Hernandez story keeps getting crazier

8/28/13 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Nov 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) during the second half at Metlife Stadium. The Patriots won the game 49-19. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY SportsAccording to a Rolling Stone story by Paul Solotaroff, the Aaron Hernandez story goes even further than we all thought.

Solotaroff's story claims that Hernandez was taking PCP before Odin Lloyd's murder, and his increasing paranoia led to him carrying a gun with him 24/7.
"How much worse? About as bad as it gets, say longtime family friends. In exclusive conversations with Rolling Stone, those friends, who insisted they not be named, say Hernandez was using the maniacal drug angel dust, had fallen in with a crew of gangsters and convinced himself that his life was in danger, carrying a gun wherever he went."

Even before the murder charges, Hernandez was already walking a fine line and in danger of being cut by the Patriots, according to the article.
"Sources close to the tight end add that throughout the spring, when players are expected to be preparing themselves for the marathon NFL season, Hernandez had missed workouts and sessions with a rehab trainer, and had been told by his head coach, Bill Belichick, that he was one misstep from being cut."

I find it a bit hard to imagine that Belichick would have been willing to cut Hernandez if it hadn't gotten to the point that it did. Despite his frustrations with Hernandez, I'm not sure he'd accept the financial hit that would ensue if he cut Hernandez.
Hernandez's paranoia is alleged to be the motive in the Lloyd killing, and Solotaroff details the situation:
"Per a close friend of Lloyd’s, they’d been getting buzzed in VIP when Lloyd saw two of his cousins downstairs. He went to hug them up and buy them drinks when one of them, a West Indian with dreads, started pointing and mean-mugging Hernandez. “I don’t like that n---er, he’s one of them funny people,” said the cousin. “Stop pointing, that’s my boy,” said Lloyd of Hernandez. “You’re gonna start some sh-t ’tween me and him.” “Well, I don’t want you with him, he’s a punk,” said Lloyd’s cousin, jabbing his finger again in Hernandez’s direction.

When Lloyd went back upstairs, Hernandez was enraged. Club security cameras allegedly capture the two men squabbling, showing Hernandez, six-two and a rippled 250, facing off with the five-11 Lloyd.

According to the sources in the story, Hernandez was unable to move past this incident, and that's what led to him allegedly murdering Lloyd.

Blog Photo - Aaron Hernandez may have been on PCP before Odin Lloyd murderThe more we hear about this story, the more it seems as though the Patriots were negligent in their handling of Hernandez. Apparently Bill Belichick knew that Hernandez was paranoid, and knew that he was in fear for his life. He advised Hernandez to rent an apartment away from home and try to avoid his old acquaintances, but they didn't supervise him as much as it seems they should have.

Part of the blame seems to lie with the Patriots' decision to change security chiefs:
"The seeds of the fiasco were sown years earlier, when Belichick replaced the Pats’ security chief with a tech-smart Brit named Mark Briggs. The NFL and its teams spend millions each year employing a web of former cops and ex-FBI agents to keep an eye on players and their posses. For decades, the Patriots relied on a homegrown crew of retired state troopers to do surveillance. Whenever a player popped up where he didn’t belong – a strip joint in Southie or a weed spot in Brockton – Frank Mendes, the team security chief from 1990 to 2003 and a former state trooper himself, would get a call from his cop or statie friends, whether they were on payroll or not. “I’d have known within a half-hour if Hernandez had gotten in trouble with police,” he says, “and told Belichick and he’d do whatever.” But when Belichick hired Briggs, who’d managed security at London’s Wembley Stadium and had limited street associates in the States, the tips from cops and troopers dried up. “The Patriots aren’t receptive to those kind of calls,” says a law-enforcement official who knows the team and dislikes Briggs. “It’s not a friendly environment to call over.” "

Thanks to this personnel change, the Patriots were no longer as tapped into the community as they used to be, and potentially missed out on tips that would have let them know when their players were straying from the straight and narrow. Perhaps if Mendes had still worked with the team, they would have known more about Hernandez's issues and perhaps Lloyd's death could have been prevented.

But were they really in the dark? According to this report, they knew a lot more than they were letting on. Belichick had warned Hernandez multiple times that he would be cut if he got in any more trouble, but once they gave him his $40M contract extension, that threat lost its teeth, since Hernandez had a lot of guaranteed money coming his way.

This is a bizarre and fascinating story, and unfortunately it's looking like the Patriots aren't going to come out looking very good when all is said and done. Their 'win-at-all-costs' attitude is coming back to bite them, and they might want to start going back to the principles that made them one of the most respected franchises in sports.
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8/28/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

I'm not really comfortable with the idea that pro athletes need 24/7 supervision, or the fact that they seem to be conditioned that way (see any retired athletes talking about how hard it is to fill the time).

As for the Patriots, while I still contend it's hard to knock anyone for not seeing a murder coming, that doesn't seem as obvious. The problem with them is that when you have "[Insert Team] Way" and contend you have more "class" than any other team and "play the right way," (and Boston is up with New York and Pittsburgh for worst offenders of this) you will be scorned when it falls apart. Because the thing is, the Patriots, or any other team, do not have more "class" than any other team. You just don't. That said, every fan thinks that way about their team until it falls apart. I even did to a point with Penn State before Sandusky, but it's just not true. With any team.

8/28/13   |   kantwistaye   |   4219 respect

I think the biggest mistake the Patriots made was giving him that extension too early.  It made the threat of cutting him very weak, which coupled with the security changed allowed him to roam a little too free.  That said, Hernandez is an adult.  He wasn't in college anymore where he may have needed some more supervision.