Aaron Hernandez’ troubled past was no secret to the New England Patriots, says Floyd Reese, an adviser who worked with the team at the time Hernandez was signed in 2010.
Hernandez had already failed multiple drug tests by the time he was drafted, and there were rumors of him being involved in criminal activity.
They knew that his history was a wild card, so they wrote a special clause into his contract.
“75 percent of the money in the contract set up so that he would only make it if he stayed out of trouble, didn’t miss meetings, was always there doing the right thing,” Reese said in a MMQB interview.
“And for the period of the original contract, he lived up to every bit of it. So it turned out well,” Reese told MMQB. “Of course, after that, after he signed [his $40 million contract extension], things kind of went awry.”
Aaron Hernandez has been accused of committing a double homicide the month before he signed his $40 million contract extension. He has yet to face those charges in court. On Wednesday, he was found guilty of the murder of Odin Lloyd which took place in 2013. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there was a psychological profile done on Hernandez before he joined the New England Patriots. It concluded that he liked “living on the edge of acceptable behavior.” On one personality test, Aaron registered the lowest possible score, a 1 out of 10, in the category of Social Maturity.
Reese admits that the Patriots were aware of some of some of his issues while he played at the University of Florida. It’s likely that they knew about the failed drug tests. It’s also possible that they knew about an altercation in 2007, where Hernandez, then a 17-year-old freshman, smacked a bar employed in the head and burst his eardrum. A report was filed after the incident, which means that it would have shown up during a background check.
Reese hinted that he didn’t think Aaron Hernandez would have gotten into so much trouble if he had been drafted into a team that was located further away from his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut. Bristol is known for being a tough neighborhood.
“There were a lot of times where he would leave Foxboro [Mass., home of the Patriots] and drive back to Hartford so he could be with his guys,” Reese explained.
“… The truth is, the vast majority of guys that have maybe had a tough upbringing, when you throw them into a great locker room, great organization, great place to play, they come out of it. They see the other side of it. ‘Why would I ever want to go back to that other place?’ The problem is you run into an Aaron Hernandez, who can’t get there. He’s comfortable back in Hartford … with all that trouble.”
Hernadez will be living in the Foxboro for the foreseeable future, at the Massachusetts Correnctional Facility at Cedar Junction.
(Photo via International Business Times)