The New England Patriots announced on Wednesday morning that they have released tight end Aaron Hernandez following his arrest earlier that morning.
The New England #Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 26, 2013
Hernandez is being investigated in the death of Odin Lloyd, an associate of his, who was found dead close to Hernandez's home. Hernandez was reportedly with Lloyd the night of his death, which was ruled a homicide, and Hernandez is considered a suspect.
It's unclear, as of right now, whether Hernandez was arrested on murder or obstruction of justice charges. A warrant for obstruction of justice was reportedly being prepared a few days ago.
The Patriots released the following statement on their decision to release Hernandez:
"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 Patriots signed Hernandez to a seven-year deal worth $41.115 million contract before the 2012 season which included $16.4 million guaranteed and a $12.5 million signing bonus. He is now considered an unrestricted free agent.