Aaron Hernandez released by New England Patriots

Andrew Burton

New England released its star tight end shortly after he was arrested Wednesday in the investigation of Odin Lloyd's death.

The New England Patriots officially released tight end Aaron Hernandez, the team announced Wednesday morning.

Hernandez is involved in the investigation of the murder of Odin Llyod. The Patriots tight end was arrested by local and Massachusetts state police Wednesday morning. He's expected to be arraigned later Wednesday, at which point the charges against him will become known.

The Patriots released the following statement:

"A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do."

The police have investigated Hernandez's role in Lloyd's death for more than a week now. Lloyd's body was found less than a mile from Hernandez's estate on June 17. Investigators conducted their first search of Hernandez's home one day later.

Hernandez was signed last August to a five-year, $40 million deal by New England, hoping to pair him long term with running mate Rob Gronkowski. However, things have rapidly changed and caused the Patriots to act in a swift manner.

With the release, New England could be on the hook for $10 million, according to Tom Pelissero.

In his three-year career, Hernandez caught 175 passes for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also made a Super Bowl appearance with New England in 2011, losing to the New York Giants.

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