With more information emerging following Aaron Hernandez's arrest, the team's owner, Robert Kraft, is left wondering if he ever really knew the player he was playing $40-million, and who it appears was unaffected by 'the 'Patriot way'.
Kraft told the Boston Herald that he was 'duped', if the charges filed against Hernandez carry a conviction. Kraft chose to speak against the advise of his attorneys to paint his picture of a man who he believes deceived him.
"If this stuff is true, I've been duped and our whole organization has been duped"
Kraft spoke of Hernandez as a player who desired to be a role model in the Hispanic community, and gave a portion of his newly signed contract extension to the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation, in honor of the Patriots' owners' deceased wife.
"He said we'd given him a second chance and I believed him. He was the most likeable young man. This is all sad to me. Very sad."
The owner went into detail about the organization's thought process concerning Hernandez, and how they should proceed -- provided the star tight end was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Kraft said the team planned to cut Hernandez the week before the arrest was made, if he was arrested.
A lot of talk has centered post-arrest on the decisions that led to the Patriots selecting Hernandez in the 2010 draft. Alluding to how the Patriots gambled in selecting a player with a spotty past. The Boston Herald report states that Hernandez underwent drug testing during his first year in the league in an effort to convince the Patriots that rumors of his alleged drug use were, in fact, just rumors.
Hernandez awaits trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, and it remains to be seen whether the Patriots will change their willingness to take chances on at-risk players moving forward as a result of Hernandez's arrest. While it might not take a lot of convincing to have the coaching staff take a risk on a player with character concerns, it might be a lot harder to have the team's owner sign off on such a move. Kraft was blindsided by the Hernandez news, which could give him pause.