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Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after throwing an interception against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

End of the "Patriot Way"?

What a crazy week.  I wanted to help myself digest some of the recent news and I thought where else but here to do so.  This isn’t going to be an article full of legal references so if you are trying to break down the Aaron Hernandez case legally you will want to look else where.  What I will do is give you my opinion about the whole ordeal and what it means on some different levels for the New England Patriots and the NFL.

First, as a fan, I’m stunned and horrified.  I’m not ignorant to the fact that most of these players aren’t perfect angels (Tebow aside).  But you have got to be kidding me.  An NFL player who was on the brink of having a possibly huge season is charged with 1st degree murder?  Not only that but we watched it all go down from start to finish.  Media has been staked outside his house for what seems like forever.  Then we see him taken from his house in handcuffs, which should’ve been our first indication that this was much more serious than any of us imagined.  Then we see him in shackles as he is lead into his arraignment.  Shackles?  The last time I saw those bad boys used was on Nicholas Cage in Con Air.  This of course is all capped off with us watching his charges being read and a detailed description of what went down.  Oh, you know, your normal Wednesday in late June in the NFL.

Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) runs out on the field before the start of the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Second, does this end the whole “Patriot way” ideal?  The theory that any player that enters Bill’s kingdom instantly becomes a better team player and a better person.  They seemed to be great at taking “red flag” players and making them become self-less team players.  Here are a few of those players on the roster now:  Ryan Mallett, LaGarrette Blount and Aqib Talib.  The past featured guys like Randy Moss and Chad Whatever.  To their credit these have mostly turned out well at least in the legal aspect.  This has to scare some people in the Patriots clubhouse into re-thinking this theory.  I know many will use the one bad apple theory here but we are talking about MURDER, not a traffic ticket.  This is the worst of the worst red flags coming to fruition.

Third, what this means for the Patriots passing attack?  They will now have to replace Hernandez along with Wes Welker.  No big deal, just 169 receptions from last season.  They had already let Brandon Lloyd and his 74 receptions go and if you haven’t heard that Rob Gronkowski guy is currently on the P.U.P list.  If you’re keeping score at home that is the top four reception leaders from 2012.  And if your looking for the 5th guy…  That was Danny Woodhead who is now playing for the San Diego Chargers.  Tom Brady can make receivers out of you and me so I don’t think they will drop too far but he has to be hoping this offseason ends quickly and quietly.

Lastly, how does the NFL handle this?  Obviously their is nothing more they can do to Hernandez, but I’m talking from a PR stand point?  Roger Goodell who was bound and determined to “clean up” the league has to be just beside himself.  Has the approach he used had any real impact on players?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: New England Patriots NFL

  • caltenn11

    Stick to talking about your Brancos or is that Bruncos or Drunkos??

  • Mike Dyce

    I think this validates the ‘Patriot Way.’ His release sends a signal, you get out of line, you’re gone. Even if it means eating $12.5 million. Look at Jerry Jones and the Cowboys…. Josh Brent is still on the roster.

  • Paul V. Suffriti

    The Pats organization, Patriot Way, will survive and hold to their high values…..they did not hesitate to release a star player.

    The Pats team is a solid core of good respectable players. Most critics expect a down-tick with their offense because of the loss of some offensive weapons from the previous year. The Pats offense is always looking to improve and evolve to be one step ahead of the competition. The predictable short pass to slot receiver Welker will be replaced with a more dynamic and versatile Amendola. Underwhelming Lloyd will be replaced with either Jenkins, Jones, Dalton or Boyce (whoever rises to the occasion during training camp and preseason). Woodhead was not the best receiver coming out of the backfield but Vereen will be. The Pats have good depth at TE and Gronk will be playing this year. The Pats may not have to 30+ points every game with an improved overall defense this year. Pats will be fine…..

    • Josh L

      WRONG. They DID hesitate, and it wasn’t until about a wk later, AFTER he was led off in handcuffs, that they released him. AFTER they were sure he was completely fucked. Had he not been arrested, they would have still kept him, no matter what he was caught up in.
      The Patriots picked up Jake Ballard in a dirty move last yr. Remember this. Karma.
      The Patriots refused to pay Wes Welker yr after yr and made sure he knew he was completely disposable.
      They kept Gronkowski in the 4th Q of a blowout win for no reason other than to kick their opponent while they were down. Gronkowski broke his forearm in the last 2 mins of THAT GAME.
      They lost in what should have been an easy Super Bowl win to close out a perfect season, during their dirty videotape season.
      Tom Brady blew out his ACL at the beginning of next season.
      Randy Moss never won a ring.
      Bernard Pollard has been doing God’s work.
      Karma, karma, karma, KARMA.
      You really buy this Patriot’s way bullshit?
      They are a cold, nasty organization of Good Ol Boys who try to unsuccessfully leverage dirty moves w/an image of “family”. Don’t buy into it.

      • Paul V. Suffriti

        Tell me how you really feel……just another hater

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Hernandez was cut 20 minutes after being led away in handcuffs, not a week later.
        2007, the near-perfect year, was the year that they were recovering from Spygate, not “during the dirty season.” If there was any doubt that they could win big without the tapes, that season proves it.
        What does Brady’s injury have to do with character?
        Randy Moss is among the overwhelming majority of players who have never won a ring.

        How does it feel to be wrong about everything?

      • Steven B

        You sound like someone who likes the Giants or just hates a team that can win w/o a key guy or two

        • Josh L

          I’m a browns fan. some football fans might remember belichick coached the browns for a while. if he didn’t get shit lucky w Tom Brady the pats wouldnt be much man. I am a hater, for reasons posted above. you all can’t deal w some nice specific points and just fire back like its bad to be a hater and “we’re so good we don’t need just one guy” bullshit. good luck this yr. I live 10mins up the rd f Gillette, moved here a yr ago, and love all you arrogant bushwacking idiots sitting around talking nonsense.

  • Jeremy Golden

    Appreciate the feedback from everyone! Another headline to watch for the upcoming season.
    Caltenn – If I would’ve stuck to writing about the Broncos I would’ve never had the pleasure of having you as a reader!

  • BOstonSTrONg

    The Patriots may have lost their “lead” players, but the team that remains will go just as far…it’ll be as if Welker wasn’t yodeling in Denver and Hernandez didn’t get caught up in target practice. The Patriot way is still holding strong because they ate $12.5mil to prove that. Bill & the boys will be just fine.

  • Joe Willie

    Patriot Way? LOL signing or drafting troubled players for the sake of getting them cheap?. Under valuing loyal veteran players who have preformed well and letting them go thinking everybody is replaceable for the sake of money? Oh wait most of the pats players are good respectable guys who follow the rules, like the rest of the NFL teams aren’t?
    One thing is for sure the Jets organization never had an active player murder people and the Jet organization never had a scandal such as Spygate for out and out cheating. I been around a longtime as a NFL fan and I have a feeling the scandals will outlive their mini run of winning 3 forgettable Superbowls by a total of 9 pts. The 60s packers, 70s Steelers, 80s 49ers, or even the Cowboys of the 90s they are not. In fact during Superbowl time they show highlights of Superbowl 3 much more then then any of the pats wins combined and how the Giants beat them 2 x. GO JETS 2013!!!!!!

    • Steven B

      Jets fans like you need to go away. The Jets aren’t going to be good for a long time. Get over yourself.

  • William Rhoads

    Look the guy is wanted and arrested for two muders the other happened 3 years ago! this guy has guts to come in the nfl and play like nothing going on ! look what happened with carolina and carouthers ! but this is the pats and the will rise up with other players brady makes any reciever look good!

  • irishman

    2,000,000 Chicago Blackhawks fans helping our beloved Hawks celebrate their 2013 Stanley Cup victory at the Hawks parade and rally without one murder, rape, or robbery, no rioting or looting; unlike the Chicago Bulls fans that murdered, raped, robbed, and rioted and looted our great city under the pretext of a Bulls victory “celebration.” Wonder why that is? Must be because of the “different” fan base.