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Brandon Spikes: I tried to help Aaron Hernandez change his life 08.20.16 at 11:23 am ET
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Brandon Spikes was a teammate of Aaron Hernandez in college and the NFL.  (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Brandon Spikes was a teammate of Aaron Hernandez in college and the NFL. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Brandon Spikes and Aaron Hernandez were teammates at the University of Florida and with the Patriots. And despite the fact that Hernandez is now behind bars after being found guilty for the killing of Odin Lloyd, Spikes still considers him a friend.

In a recent interview with’s Matthew Fairburn, Spikes — now with the Bills — discussed his relationship with Hernandez, and how he tried to help put him on the right path.

“I’m not going to turn my back on Aaron Hernandez,” Spikes said. “I see his situation. You know, we use to talk about this all the time. Like, ‘Hey, change your life, you’ve got the wrong people around you.’ I know that because of my older brother. I watched him keep these people around. Look where it got him. It’s like, ‘Don’t be that guy.’”

Spikes compared Hernandez to his own brother, Breyon Middlebrooks, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2003 after being found guilty of murder.

“I can’t really feel sorry for you, because you knew!” Spikes said. “How else can it end? You can change them? Nah, I mean, they don’t have anything to lose. You have everything to lose. I just think about that. We still talk and he’s in a good place mentally. That was necessary for him. Whatever it may be, even though it’s a bad situation. Some people might look at that as a bad situation. But you never know. He’s alive, but it was necessary.”

He added: “It’s like my brother. He’s behind bars, that was part of his cause. You can’t change that. They know. They know how to live right and do the right thing.”

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Bill Belichick thinks TE group as good ‘as we’ve ever had here’ 08.03.16 at 5:39 pm ET
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Jul 28, 2016; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs drills during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski runs drills during training camp at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — No one has better perspective or appreciation of great tight ends than Bill Belichick.

This is a coach who watched Mark Bavaro dominate in the 1980s with the Giants when Belichick was the defensive coordinator of two Super Bowl championship teams.

Belichick was on hand for the end of Ozzie Newsome’s career in Cleveland and was so impressed that he found a way to keep him on his staff and teach him what he knew. Now, Newsome has two Super Bowl rings as a player personnel chief in Baltimore.

And it was Belichick who drafted Rob Gronkowski and has watched him develop into the best and most feared tight end in football.

What could make it any better?

Bringing in a tight end in Martellus Bennett who could help the Patriots become an virtual unstoppable force off the line of scrimmage. Throw in lunch pail guys like Bear Pascoe, Clay Harbor, Bryce Williams, Steven Scheu and A.J. Derby and you have Belichick pumping the tires of the entire group.

“I think Bryce has come in and done a good job. [He’s] got a lot to learn. It’s a big adjustment for him,” Belichick said. “I think all three of the tight ends, including [A.J.] Derby, who really had very few snaps last year, but A.J., and [Steven] Scheu and Bryce have all done a good job. It’s been probably as good of a tight end situation, overall from top to bottom, as we’ve ever had here. The guys are all competitive; they can all do enough things to be competitive. But Bryce has done a good job catching the ball well. He’s got good ball skills, has a receiver background, but you can kind of see that watching him play. It shows up out there.”

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Read More: 2016 training camp, Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Gronk
Aaron Hernandez hires new defense team, including attorney who represented Casey Anthony 06.08.16 at 7:05 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez is back in the news.

According to ESPN, Hernandez has hired a new defense team which includes attorney Jose Baez, the one who represented Casey Anthony who was acquitted of killing her two-year-old a few years ago.

In addition to Baez, Harvard law professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., criminal defense attorney Alex Spiro, and forensic science counsel Linda Kenney Baden also will be part of the new team.

“Mr. Hernandez strongly maintains his innocence, and I plan to establish that before a jury of his peers,” Baez said in a statement. “I have fully committed myself to ensuring a fair and just trial for Mr. Hernandez. We understand that numerous reports of our client’s alleged activity have been published, but we ask the public to afford Mr. Hernandez the presumption of innocence and let the facts unfold in a court of law.”

Hernandez was convicted in the April 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is also waiting trial on a double-murder occurring in 2012 in Boston.

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Report: Aaron Hernandez rips Robert Kraft in letter from jail 02.01.16 at 9:16 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez might be in prison for the rest of his life, but he continues to haunt the Patriots.

In the latest embarrassment for the team, the former tight end apparently had some harsh words for owner Robert Kraft while professing his love for many of the players, including Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

The website TMZ Sports viewed the contents of a Dec. 10 letter it claims has been verified to be from the convicted murderer. The letter was sent to a woman with whom Hernandez had exchanged previous correspondence. Hernandez, angry that the woman criticized him in her last letter, tells her should kill herself — and offers suggestions how to do exactly that.

He then says he has a television in his cell and, yes, I still root for my squad and still love all the ones I loved. The closest I was with was probably Brady and whom I love to death and always will and only hope the best for them. But was cool with Julez, Branch (I [expletive] with and got mad love for) and “the BEST TE ever to walk on a football field” Gronk!

Adds Hernandez: I watch every game faithfully cheering them on and always will cuz I have love for so many of them!

As for Kraft, Hernandez refers to him as the fake ass non loyal Kraft who told me he loved me every time he seen me but obviously shows his word ain’t [expletive].

Hernandez ends his letter with large, all-capitalized, “[Expletive] THE WORLD!”

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady
Jonathan Kraft on Pats’ $19.3 million in dead cap space: ‘Things happen that are out of your control’ 10.29.15 at 8:34 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Patriots president Jonathan Kraft has always kept close tabs on every aspect of the organization, especially the financial details.

On Thursday night, speaking on the team’s pregame radio show, Kraft defended the team’s reported $19.3 million in dead cap space, an ESPN report that placed the team among the NFL’s top 10 in that category.

Kraft pointed to the money the Patriots had to eat as part of not picking up the $20 million option on Darrelle Revis and the money left on the seven-year, $39.5 million extension given to Aaron Hernandez in 2012. According to, Revis’ contract is still eating up $5 million, Logan Mankins has $4 million in dead space, Kyle Arrington accounts for $3.25 million and Bradley Fletcher (released earlier this month) stands at $1.256 million. Kraft also speculated that part of the $19.3 million could be still linked to Hernandez.

“I didn’€™t see the article,” Kraft said. “Clearly, some money is related to Darrelle. Probably some money related to Aaron Hernandez. You make a deal to give you the most flexibility. Sometimes you do a really good job and sometimes you don’€™t. Sometimes, things happen that are out of your control.”

As for next Tuesday’s trade deadline, Kraft said he was not aware of anything imminent.

“Anything can happen,” Kraft said. “Conversations that happen all the time. There are some positions that lend itself to it and others that don’€™t. It’€™s very hard to trade for a guy and because of schemes and terminology .. Maybe a running back with a handful plays or for maybe a really good cornerback. It’€™s really hard to do. When the season starts, you’€™re on the treadmill. I remember a conversation with [backup quarterback] Ryan Lindley when I saw him this summer in the hallway and he told me, ‘I’€™m drinking from a firehose.'”

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Darrelle Revis, Jonthan Kraft, New England Patriots
Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial postponed to Jan. 19 10.14.15 at 12:39 pm ET
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The second murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, charged with killing two men in Boston in 2012, will be pushed back to Jan. 19, a judge ruled Tuesday. The trial initially was to begin Dec. 1.

According to multiple reports, the prosecution is trying to obtain evidence held by a law firm that previously represented the former Patriots star, apparently related to his cellphone. Judge Jeffrey Locke emerged from Tuesday’s closed-door hearing and would not address the specifics of the evidence, only saying that it related to a defendant’s right to seek confidential legal advice and services.

Locke said he expects to issue a decision on the prosecution’s request for the evidence in the next two weeks. One of Hernandez’s attorneys told the judge that no matter which way he rules, the defense likely will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Judicial Court, which could delay the trial’s start even further.

Hernandez was convicted earlier this year in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and is serving a life sentence for that crime. He has pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu after an incident at a Boston nightclub in July 2012.

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Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers seek to have search warrant tossed 10.07.15 at 11:46 am ET
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Lawyers for convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez requested Tuesday that a judge invalidate a search warrant related to a 2012 double murder in Boston for which Hernandez also stands accused.

Connecticut police used the search warrant to seize a Toyota 4Runner prosecutors say Hernandez was driving when he shot Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after an incident at a Boston nightclub. Hernandez’s lawyers say police relied on information from Carlos Ortiz — who allegedly was in the car with Hernandez — in order to obtain the search warrant, but they neglected to include the fact that Ortiz failed a lie detector test.

The vehicle was discovered at the home of Hernandez’s uncle in Bristol, Connecticut, while police were investigating Hernandez’s involvement in the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez’s attorneys also requested dismissal of a charge of witness intimidation — when Hernandez allegedly shot Alexander Bradley in the face in Florida and left him for dead.

The judge did not immediately rule on either request.

Jury selection in the trial is scheduled to start Dec. 1.

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