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Bristol County Sheriff on Kirk & Callahan: Aaron Hernandez had ‘sociopathic tendencies’ 04.19.17 at 11:14 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez was acquitted on double murder charges Friday. (Pool photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez was acquitted on double murder charges Friday. (Pool photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson possesses unique insight into Aaron Hernandez. The ex-NFL star was housed at the Bristol County House of Corrections for nearly two years, before he was transferred to the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass. shortly after he was charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting.

In an interview with Kirk & Callahan Wednesday, Hodgson said he spotted sociopathic tendencies in Hernandez, who law enforcement says committed suicide in his prison cell Wednesday morning.

“I’ve always sort of known Aaron Hernandez to be somebody who’s been able to completely control –– almost like a mental trap –– things that he let in and let out,” he said. “I’m wondering, and of course I’m not a psychologist –– I don’t have any background in it –– I do think he had some sociopathic tendencies. For all of the time he was here, he never showed much in the way of emotion. It was always sort of very controlled. He was controlled about everything. He had a magnetic personality and knew how to use it to manipulate and get things. But more importantly, he just never really was allowing himself to feel any sort of emotion.”

The timing of Hernandez’s suicide is curious, considering he was acquitted five days ago on double murder charges. But Hodgson said he thinks the weight of the verdict may have broken Hernandez down.

“I just wonder if when that jury, because I remember saying to the special sheriff here when I saw the verdict, ‘I’m shocked to see him showing any emotion on this verdict.’ I wonder, and there’s a million theories, I wonder if in fact when that jury acquitted him, that that somehow created a vulnerability in that mental trap, whereby for maybe once in a long time, a group of people really believed in him or believed in the outcome of that verdict, which was a positive thing for him, and that may have been something that just –– who knows.”

Hodgson described Hernandez’s manipulative personality, saying he would attempt to goad guards into providing him with items he was barred from possessing. If Hernandez started calling guards by their first names, they would be removed from his unit.

“Aaron Hernandez was the best I’ve ever seen in terms of manipulating, being able to cajole, use his personality to sort of make you believe he was somebody very different,” Hodgson said.

Though Hernandez often didn’t express emotion, Hodgson said he encouraged the former Patriots tight end to reach out to his deceased father, who passed away in 2006. In the end, Hodgson explained Hernandez never appeared comfortable with his life as a professional football player.

“He never really could transition into the Patriots’ world. He wouldn’t go out to dinner with a guy like Brady or people like that, because he just didn’t fit in that world,” he said. “I think he used the Patriots as a way to raise his stature in the real world that he always lived in. That was just a means by which he could –– you know, he made money and of course he could elevate himself in his real world –– which was very different from the professional football world.”

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Aaron Hernandez’s former agent: ‘No chance’ Hernandez committed suicide 04.19.17 at 10:07 am ET
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Massachusetts Department of Correction says Hernandez committed suicide Wednesday morning. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Massachusetts Department of Correction says Hernandez committed suicide Wednesday morning. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez’s former agent doesn’t believe Hernandez killed himself in prison Wednesday morning.

“Absolutely no chance he took his own life,” Brian Murphy tweeted. “Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.”

In a statement, the Massachusetts Department of Correction said Hernandez was found hanging in his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass. at 3:05 a.m. He was transported to UMass Leominster Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.

“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the statement reads. “Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.”

Jose Baez, the lawyer who successfully cleared Hernandez in the 2012 fatal drive-by shooting of two men in Boston, also reportedly doubts the DOC’s findings. According to TMZ, Baez believes other inmates or prison guards could’ve murdered the former Patriots tight end.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting.

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Tom Brady leads NFL in jersey sales for second straight year 04.12.17 at 8:06 am ET
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For the second straight year, Tom Brady leads the NFL in jersey sales. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

For the second straight year, Tom Brady leads the NFL in jersey sales. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady isn’t just dominant on the field. He’s a force to be reckoned with on the merchandise stand as well.

This week, NFLShop released its 25 best-selling jerseys from April 1, 2016 until the end of February. For the second consecutive year, Brady was at the top of the list. He’s followed by Cowboys rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott.

The other two Patriots players on the list, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, clock in at No. 5 and No. 15, respectively. The Cowboys, who had four players make the cut, are the only team with more representation than New England.

In the wake of the Deflategate scandal, Brady has become perhaps the most polarizing player in the NFL. A Public Policy Poll from earlier this year shows he’s both the country’s favorite and least favorite quarterback. That same poll said 53% of football fans wanted the Falcons to win Super Bowl LI, whereas just 27% of respondents said they were pulling for the Patriots.

 

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Man who stole Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey will likely never go to jail 04.11.17 at 2:48 pm ET
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Tom Brady finally received his recovered Super Bowl jersey at the end of March.  (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady finally received his recovered Super Bowl jersey at the end of March. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The man who stole Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey will likely never spend one day in jail. Meaning, he’s probably going to get away with the crime.

Journalists Robert Klemko and Jenny Vrentas published a long-form article on the MMQB Tuesday detailing the FBI investigation into Brady’s missing jersey. According to the piece, it took law-enforcement less than two weeks to identify the culprit, Mexican newspaper director Mauricio Ortega. Officials in Mexico City were surprised the NFL allowed Ortega to obtain a press credential, considering his paper, La Prensa, is a poorly respected tabloid.

As it turns out, recognizing Ortega was the easy part, thanks to extensive locker room videotape and a tip from a Patriots fan who bought an item from him on eBay. Ortega sent Dylan Wagner, the 19-year-old Boston-born informant, a photograph of his memorabilia collection in December. In it, Brady’s missing jersey from Super Bowl XLIX was prominently featured. In addition to Brady’s uniform tops from Super Bowls XLIX and LI, Ortega also acquired Von Miller’s helmet from Super Bowl 50.

Though U.S. authorities first flew to Mexico Feb. 21, officials didn’t seek to reclaim the jerseys until mid-March. An anonymous U.S. investigator told the MMQB it was challenging to navigate the increasingly divisive political climate between the two nations.

“We had [Ortega] identified –– that wasn’t the point,” the investigator said. “It was now the point of walking that political minefield as delicately as we could to appease everybody. We didn’t want to upset the Mexican authorities, we didn’t want to upset the Mexican people, we didn’t want to upset the U.S. embassy.”

Finally, on March 12, Mexican law-enforcement officials approached Ortega’s residence with a search warrant, which they didn’t execute. Instead, they asked him to hand over the stolen property. When he complied, they left.

In Mexico, the minimum penalty for theft of an item worth more than 35,000 pesos ($1,800 U.S.) is four years in prison. But even though Brady’s Super Bowl jersey is worth a lot of money in the U.S. –– the Houston Police Department says it’s valued at $500,000 –– that isn’t necessarily the case below the border. Samuel González, the former head of the organized crime unit in Mexico’s federal prosecutors office, says Ortega’s attorney should insist the value of the jersey in Mexico is merely $200 –– far below the threshold for mandated prison time. It would be difficult to prove otherwise.

Further complicating matters, only those charged with serious crimes, such as murder or drug dealing, are extradited from Mexico to the U.S. Jersey theft doesn’t appear to make the list.

Ortega will almost certainly never be allowed to enter an NFL locker room again. But barring unforeseen circumstances, he won’t pay a legal price for his Super Bowl heists.

 

Read More: Super Bowl LI, Tom Brady,
Tom Brady met recently with Warren Buffett 04.10.17 at 11:43 am ET
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Tom Brady may have spent his weekend seeking advice from one of the most successful business magnets alive today.

Brady met recently with investor Warren Buffett, who still serves as the CEO of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, at 86 years old. Given Brady’s interest in developing his lifestyle brand, TB12, it’s possible he was picking Buffett’s brain. Other athletes, such as LeBron James, have used Buffett as a financial mentor.

The Wizard of Omaha + TB12 =

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Patriots owner Robert Kraft brought up Buffett at the NFL owners’ meetings last month when he was asked how long he thinks Bill Belichick can coach.

“You see Warren Buffet and Rupert Murdoch, they’re in their mid-eighties and performing in a pretty high level, so we’re going to keep Bill healthy,” he said.

It’s understandable why Kraft appears to have an immense amount of respect for Buffett. The financial mogul’s net worth is $73 billion, more than 14 times greater than Kraft’s.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady, Warren Buffett,
Patriots have no room for their fifth Super Bowl banner 04.10.17 at 9:46 am ET
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The Patriots need room for their fifth Super Bowl banner. (Stew Milne-USA Today Sports)

The Patriots need room for their fifth Super Bowl banner. (Stew Milne-USA Today Sports)

The Patriots have a problem that every organization in professional sports is almost certainly envious of.

The team will hang up a banner to commemorate its fifth Super Bowl championship at Gillette Stadium this season. But as ESPN’s Mike Reiss observes, there’s no room for it. The Patriots are reportedly devising ways to alleviate the issue.

This is the second time in three years the Patriots will have to renovate their stadium in order to accommodate all of their Super Bowl banners. They also completed some construction in 2015 so they could honor their victory in Super Bowl XLIX over the Seahawks –– including inside of the team Hall of Fame.

All four Super Bowl pennants are currently displayed in the south end zone. But with no space left over there, perhaps Super Bowl LI will be commemorated somewhere else. Given that it was the greatest come-from-behind win in Super Bowl history, it would appropriate if it were remembered in a special way.

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Patriots reportedly OK’d Rob Gronkowski’s WrestleMania appearance 04.03.17 at 12:47 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski made his WrestleMania debut in Orlando Sunday.  (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Rob Gronkowski made his WrestleMania debut in Orlando Sunday. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

The Patriots reportedly weren’t surprised to see Rob Gronkowski enter the ring and throw a shoulder block at WWE’s WrestleMania Sunday.

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the team gave Gronkowski permission to appear at the event in Orlando. The tight end interfered during a match on behalf of his real-life friend, WWE wrestler Mojo Rawley.

Paragraph 3 of the standard player contract says players can’t participate in non-football activities that involve a “significant risk of personal injury” without getting it green-lit. Though Gronkowski didn’t appear to exert a lot of physical energy during his WrestleMania cameo, taking part in a wrestling event would seem to qualify as an activity that poses substantial injury risk. He was smart to follow protocol.

Gronkowski, who’s four months removed from his third back surgery since 2009, has caught some heat for his appearance. But apparently, it didn’t faze the Patriots.

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