As the sports world reacts to Aaron Hernandez’s suicide Wednesday morning, numerous details about the former New England Patriots tight end’s troubled life have filtered out.
Like this one: Hernandez once met with Bill Belichick at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis to ask the Patriots coach to trade him out of New England, according to Hernandez’s lawyer, Ronald Sullivan, and The MMQB’s Albert Breer.
Breer wrote about that meeting Wednesday in a column reacting to Hernandez’s death:
The Patriots’ then-star tight end was in Indy in February 2013 to tell Belichick he was going to spend the bulk of the coming months rehabbing his shoulder in California, rather than Massachusetts. Hernandez told me he was doing so to be closer to Tom Brady, who was spending the offseason in Los Angeles. It was only after Lloyd’s murder four months later that I found out that was far from the whole story.
I later discovered what Hernandez’s lawyer, Ronald Sullivan, detailed on WEEI radio in Boston earlier this week. Hernandez told Belichick that day in Indy that, at the very least, he needed to stay away from Foxboro because the heat was on back home in Connecticut. Hernandez broached the idea of a trade to get him out of the area. Belichick told Hernandez he couldn’t trade him but offered to help with security measures.
Sullivan, who helped Hernandez secure a not-guilty verdict in his recently completed double-murder trial, picks up the story from there. From an interview the attorney conducted with WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan” on Monday:
“Belichick said he would help (Hernandez) with certain security measures here internally in Boston, but that he wasn’t in a position to trade him. This would’ve gone to the notion that Alexander Bradley was in fact, of the two, this enforcer type, this drug enforcer, this killer type, and we were going to put evidence on to that effect. But in the end, we didn’t need to, and I think that decision was correct.”
The Patriots did not end up trading Hernandez, but he never played another game for the team — or any team, for that matter. He was arrested in June 2013 in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd and later charged with first-degree murder. At the time of Hernandez’s death, the 27-year-old was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Lloyd’s murder, and just had been acquitted of the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.
Thumbnail photo via The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports Images