Patriots organization under microscope off and on field

The Patriots waited until the image of their star tight end being led out of his home and into a police cruiser was broadcast on national television to rid themselves of a major problem. The timing on the matter will, of course, be discussed for months to come. Did the organization wait too long to release a person that would eventually be arrested in connection to the murder of a young man? Or did they act swiftly, as the Patriots have seemingly always done when it comes to distractions (this being one that could very well tarnish the reputation of the long-proud franchise for years to come), and cut ties with a troubled athlete ahead of things playing out in court?

No one knows if the Patriots knew anything more about the Hernandez case than the public did during these past 10 days in which news reporters were staked outside of his home around the clock. They did turn him away from Gillette Stadium last Thursday when he reportedly wanted to work out at the facility and they did release a statement Wednesday regarding the case.

“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss,” the statement said. “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.”

Hernandez played three seasons with the Patriots, catching 175 balls for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in 38 games. The former University of Florida standout signed a monster seven-year, $41 million deal just last year.

On the field, the Patriots move forward with major questions at the once-stacked tight end position. Hernandez’s career in Foxboro is done and Rob Gronkowski is recovering from surgery on his forearm and back. Tom Brady’s leading receiver from 2012, Wes Welker, signed with the Denver Broncos in March.

Former Giant Jake Ballard caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns in 2011 with New York and will likely get a starting nod at tight end to begin the season. Other candidates at tight end include Daniel Fells (played 13 games in 2012 with four catches), Michael Hoomanawanui (five catches for 109 yards in 2012), Zach Sudfeld (undrafted free agent out of Nevada) and Brandon Ford (undrafted free agent out of Clemson).

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has never had to endure such a tumultuous off-season during his 13 years in New England. The questions regarding the Pats actions and inactions off the field and their actions and inactions on the field will come at a rapid pace as we near the beginning of training camp on Thursday, July 25.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…