Aaron Hernandez did not 'dupe' New England Patriots and owner Bob Kraft

George Diaz | En Fuego

Orlando Sentinel

8:02 AM EDT, July 10, 2013


Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and the rest of the New England Patriots organization did not get “duped” by Aaron Hernandez.

They were all in on the fix:

Hernandez was a wild child coming out of the University of Florida, enabled by Urban Meyer to get away with numerous transgressions because Hernandez was a very talented football player.

A bunch of NFL teams did their homework and wanted no part of Hernandez.  Smart people.

“There were questions there, which is why a guy of that talent lasted until the fourth round," former Colts president and vice chairman Bill Polian said recently. That’s why the Colts  “never got that far” evaluating Hernandez.

“We were not in the Hernandez business,” he said.

So let’s call this for what it is:

The Patriots took a chance on a wild child, and the wild child turned out to be a thug and an accused murderer.

Kraft, the Patriots owner, said that Hernandez reached out to the team in a letter, offering to “submit to a bi-weekly drug test throughout my rookie season (eight drug tests during the 2010 regular season). In addition, I will tie any guaranteed portion of my 2010 compensation to these drug tests and reimburse the team a pro-rata amount for any failed drug test.”

The Patriots then bought what Hernandez was selling.

“This is the last thing we want,” Kraft said. “Everything we don’t want has happened. We made a mistake. We’re facing it head on. Obviously it wasn’t the correct decision. It’s sad. Very sad.”

Nobody could have seen those murder charges coming, but they most certainly could have connected the dots to what constitutes a high-risk pick and walked away like all those other teams.

Instead, they picked Hernandez, and became complicit in enabling yet another talented athlete flawed in so many other ways.

 George Diaz can be reached at gdiaz@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @georgediaz