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Attorney for Aaron Hernandez victim’s mother wants Patriots to make payments to family 04.21.17 at 2:08 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots settled a grievance over his lost earnings in 2014. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots settled a grievance over his lost earnings in 2014. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

The Patriots may be forced to pay Aaron Hernandez’s estate millions of dollars, thanks to an obscure legal principle that says a defendant’s convictions are void if he didn’t exhaust all of his legal appeals upon his passing. Since Hernandez was in the process of appealing his first-degree murder conviction for the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting, he’s now technically an innocent man in the eyes of the law.

The attorney for Odin Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, said in a press conference Friday they expect to make a claim for up to the $6 million the Patriots could be obligated to hand over to Hernandez’s estate. Douglas Sheff also said he issued a friendly challenge towards the Patriots, asking them to voluntarily make payments to the family.

“We urge the New England Patriots to work with the player’s association to voluntarily make these payments of little consequence to the team, of tremendous assistance to these struggling, deserving families who are hurting, like Ursula’s,” he said, via WMUR. “That would be the best thing to do. That would be the right thing to do. And that would make the Patriots Ursula Ward’s champion.”

When speaking to reporters, Lloyd’s mother said she wants to use the lawsuit as a means to garner support for the families of homicide victims.

“I lost my best friend. I lost my son. I lost a lot of my life,’’ she said, via the Boston Globe. “I am not going to lie to you, it will help. … But even if there’s not a penny, it has nothing to do with my justice for Odin Lloyd. I’m going to use my voice.’’

The families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado are also filing wrongful-death suits against Hernandez. The disgraced ex-NFL star was acquitted last Friday for the 2012 double murder that took their lives.

Five days later, Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell. Officials say he committed suicide.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots,
Patriots might now have to pay Aaron Hernandez’s estate millions of dollars at 10:20 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez's family donated his brain to Boston University for CTE research. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez’s death was officially ruled a suicide Thursday. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Thanks to an obscure legal principle, Aaron Hernandez is now an innocent man in the wake of his death. That means the Patriots might owe his estate money.

Massachusetts is one of the states that recognizes “abatement ab initio,” which says a defendant’s convictions are void if he didn’t exhaust all of his legal appeals upon his passing. Since Hernandez was in the process of appealing his first-degree murder conviction for the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting, the court’s ruling is erased –– as if the trial never occurred. The disgraced ex-NFL star was acquitted last week for a 2012 double murder.

Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday morning after a suicide attempt, officials say. Since Hernandez was the first active NFL player to ever be convicted of murder, and also the first player to kill himself while serving his sentence, this is an unprecedented legal situation. Attorney William Kennedy, who represented the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, the victims in the aforementioned double murder, told CBS Boston the Patriots might be obligated to pay Hernandez’s estate the $3.5 million signing bonus they voided following his arrest in 2013.

“At the time of his original arrest in the Odin Lloyd case, my understanding was that there was a $3.5 million bonus that we’ve made a subject of an action in the Superior Court,” he said. “We got a commitment from the Patriots that before any of that payment would be made they would notify the court to give us a chance to deal with that.”

The Abreu and Furtado families and Lloyd’s mother are all planning to pursue wrongful-death suits against Hernandez’s estate. In addition to the $3.5 million signing bonus, the Patriots could also owe Hernandez $2.5 million in guaranteed base salary.

But since the Patriots and Hernandez settled a grievance over the lost earnings in 2014, the case is likely considered closed. Attorney Joel Corry told the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin grievance settlements are seldom overturned.

“Typically when there’s a settlement, there’s some sort of catch-all language: ‘This will resolve all claims known or which could be known in the future,’ ” he said. “I haven’t seen too many settlements which don’t have some type of form of that kind of language.”

Hernandez will still be able to collect the minimum NFL pension, though it’s unknown who’s listed as his beneficiary. The former tight end collected roughly $10 million of the $40 million contract extension he signed in August 2012.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots,
How might Jimmy Garoppolo, Malcolm Butler impact Patriots draft? 04.18.17 at 1:40 pm ET
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FOXBORO — How should the Patriots be preparing to use their 7 picks starting in the third round and how does the status of Jimmy Garoppolo and Malcolm Butler affect their approach to the draft? WEEI’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss Nick Caserio’s comments from Foxboro.

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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,
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 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.

Read More: New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski, WWE,

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