A Suffolk County Grand Jury has indicted ex-Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez for a double murder that occurred in July of 2012, reports Ted Daniel of Fox 25 Boston. Hernandez has already been charged with murder for a June 2013 incident, and is expected to be arraigned at a later date for his alleged involvement in the July 2012 deaths of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
If Hernandez was the shooter in the July 2012 incident, as authorities believe, it means the tight end’s involvement in the crime predates the $40MM contract extension he signed with the Patriots in August of that year, and that it happened before he played the 2012 season with the club.
As Joel Corry of CBSSports.com explained earlier in the offseason, an indictment for Hernandez for the 2012 murder should give the Patriots grounds to recoup the tight end’s entire signing bonus and end the grievances he filed over his salary due in 2013 and 2014. “Hernandez’s contract contains a clause where he represents and warrants that there weren’t any existing circumstances when he signed his deal that would prevent his continued availability throughout the contract,” Corry writes. Involvement in a double murder would certainly qualify as existing circumstances.
The Patriots are carrying a $7.5MM cap hit for Hernandez this season, an acceleration of the remaining amount of his $12.5MM signing bonus. As Corry details, at least some form of cap relief should arrive eventually for the team, though it remains to be seen when that will happen, or exactly how much relief the Pats will receive.