Aaron Hernandez reportedly on thin ice with Patriots before arrest

Jared Wickerham

Were the Patriots close to releasing Aaron Hernandez even before his arrest? They may have been, according to an upcoming Rolling Stone article.

The New England Patriots released Aaron Hernandez after he was arrested. However, Hernandez may have been on shaky ground with the team even before that. An upcoming article in Rolling Stone magazine alleges Hernandez was one mistake away from being released.

According to the article, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had become frustrated with Hernandez for missed practices and "thug-life stunts." So frustrated, in fact, Hernandez was "one misstep from being cut" by the team. New England signed Hernandez to a seven-year, $39.582 million extension during the 2012 offseason. If the claim is true, and New England was considering, or close to, releasing Hernandez, there would be a question of why New England signed him to the extension rather than letting him play out the final two years of his rookie contract.

The upcoming article, written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Paul Solotaroff, comes after Solotaroff interviewed several family friends, high school teammates and NFL sources. The article alleges Hernandez was a "heavy user of angel dust" (also known as PCP) and carried a gun on him wherever he went.

Hernandez allegedly cut off relationships with family and teammates and instead surrounded himself with a "cohort of gangsters." The article also alleges Hernandez's former college coach, and current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, may have helped cover up failed drug tests and two violent incidents involving Hernandez.

The former Patriots tight end is currently facing a possible life sentence in prison without parole after he was indicted by a grand jury last week on a murder charge in the death of Odin Lloyd.

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