FanPost

What Aaron Hernandez's arrest should mean to NFL players.

As you may know ex-Patriots FB/TE has been arrested and charged with first degree murder as well as five other gun-related charges. These are serious charges that could possibly keep him in prison for the remainder of his life. Hernandez, 23, has played in the National Football League for three seasons and is widely known as the star H-back for the New England Patriots; he has shown how much you can lose in just nine day’s time. In those nine days he has lost his freedom, job, and $40 million contract with $16 million of that being guaranteed over the next seven years. A lot of NFL players should be hindering the opportunity to follow his case considering this could easily be them if they are not careful. Even veterans, Hernandez is considered a veteran by NFL terminology, have this problem especially with alcohol, drugs, violence, and poor judgment and a lot of players do not realize this until it is too late. NFL players (especially younger players) need to do their studies and look back at what has happened to current/ex-NFL players, the list follows:

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Ray Lewis - On January 30, 2000, Lewis was partying at a bar in Atlanta, GA, a fight broke out 200 yards outside the bar involving Lewis, two of his companions and another group of people. In that fight two men were killed from stab wounds and 11 days later Lewis and his two companions were arrested and charged with murder as well as aggravated-assault. Later, Lewis negotiated a plea agreement where the murder charges were dismissed in exchange for a testimony against his former companions. Lewis was sentenced to 12 months of probation and also fined $250,000 by the NFL. Ray Lewis has since continued to plead his innocence and is a very openly religious man. His accomplishments since this incident consist of two Super Bowl rings and producing numerous amounts of inspirational speeches that would knock your socks off.

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Josh Brent - On July 2, 2009, Brent plead guilty to driving under the influence. He was ordered to 60 days in jail, two year’s probation, and 200 hours of community service. On December 8, 2012, Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter in Irving, Texas after Brent wrecked his vehicle and killed his fellow teammate, Jerry Brown, who was in the passenger seat. Reports say Brent was driving as fast as 134 mph before the crash on which the posted speed limit was 45 mph, Brent later failed a sobriety test. Brent has since failed two drug tests on May 24 and June 19 and was sent back to jail after having his bond was revoked. Brent’s trial is scheduled for September 23; he will be facing 2 to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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Jovan Belcher - In late 2012 Belcher decided to move in with his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and their 3-month-old baby. The two, after a short amount of time, grew a strong distaste for one another. On the night of November 30, Perkins returned from a concert at 1 a.m., the two argued and Perkins eventually left and went to the Power and Light District; Belcher attended as well but with a different woman. Belcher lost his companion due to the crowd and decided to leave but once he got to her house she was not there so neighbors allowed Belcher to sleep on their couch for the night, he left around 6:30 - 7:00 a.m. When he returned he and Perkins had started arguing again, Belcher pulled out a gun and shot Perkins 9 times with Belcher's mother in the other room. Belcher than drove his car to the Chiefs' practice facility, thanked them for their help, and shot himself in the head in front of then-GM Scott Pioli, Head Coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs. Perkins' cousin has since been awarded sole custody of Perkins and Belchers child.

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Derrick Thomas - On January 23, 2000, Thomas and his two companions were driving to Kansas City International Airport during a snowstorm where they were flying to St. Louis to watch the NFC Championship game. Thomas was driving approximately 100 mph on the slick ice and snow covered interstate. Thomas was weaving erratically through traffic until the time of the accident. Thomas and one of the passengers were not wearing seat belts and were both thrown from the vehicle, the passenger was killed instantly. The second passenger was wearing his seat belt and walked away from the accident uninjured. Thomas was left paralyzed from the chest down. On the morning of February 8, 2000, Derrick Thomas died from a pulmonary embolism.

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Sean Taylor - On October 27, 2004, Taylor was pulled over after doing 82 mph in a 55 mph posted speed limit. Taylor was arrested after failing a field sobriety test and refusing to take a blood alcohol test. Taylor was acquitted in March 2005 by a Fairfax county judge after watching a videotape of Taylor's roadside sobriety test that failed to demonstrate obvious intoxication. On June 5, 2005, Taylor was arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm and misdemeanor battery after Taylor had allegedly pointed a gun at a person over a dispute over two ATVs that he claimed were stolen, in the following days Taylor posted bail. On January 28, 2006, the Miami-Dade County prosecutor announced that he was filing new charges against Taylor; this would increase the maximum state prison time from 16 to 46 years. These new charges also included boosting his felony assault charges from one to three. Taylor eventually negotiated a plea bargain that would void the possibilities of jail time and instead had Taylor donate his time to various charities and donated $1,000 to 10 different southern Florida schools in scholarships. On November 18, 2007 Taylor’s house had been burglarized while he was away. The intruders entered the home by prying open a window, they then went through the desk and safe that was located in Taylor's bedroom, also damaging an air conditioning unit. On November 26 at 1:45 a.m., eight days after the original burglary, Taylor was shot in the upper leg by an armed intruder at his home in Palmetto Bay, Florida, where he had been rehabbing from a football injury. His femoral artery was hit and severed. His longtime girlfriend hid under the bedding with their 18-month-old daughter and called 9-1-1 from her cell phone. Taylor was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where he underwent surgery. He emerged from surgery at 12:30 p.m. He had lost a significant amount of blood and remained in a coma. On November 27, 2007 at 3:30 a.m., Sean Taylor was pronounced dead.

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Adam "Pacman" Jones - When Jones was drafted he was under probation for a fight that occurred in West Virginia. On July 14, 2005 Jones was arrested for assault and felony vandalism after an altercation at a Nashville, TN nightclub. On September 5, 2005, Jones attended the annual Nashville Sports Council Kickoff Luncheon in which he apparently threw a tantrum after being asked to wait in line for his car. He then refused to pay the valet service that he had used that evening because he didn't have the money to pay them. The court later ordered his probation to be extended another 90 days due to this. In February 2006, Jones was arrested for marijuana possession after an incident outside his house in Fayetteville, GA; later the marijuana possession charge was dropped. In April 2006, a Cadillac was seized during a cocaine bust, the name "Pacman" was stitched into the headrests. The car was not registered under Jones but Jones acknowledged on a local news channel that the car did belong to him and allowed his friend to borrow his car for a music video. On August 25, 2006 Jones was arrested at training camp for disorderly conduct and public intoxication for spitting on a woman who had allegedly tried stealing his wallet at nightclub. On February 19, 2007 Jones attended an exotic dancers club (aka strip club) with the well-known rapper, Nelly, as well a man named Richard Rich. Nelly as well as Richard Rich had started making it rain, rain money that is. Jones decided to join them but instead of being as generous as Mr. Rich and Nelly were being Jones instead thought that the money he was spraying on the dance floor was not meant for the dancers but just for "visual effects". The club promoter instructed the dancers to pick up the money, by this motion Jones had become enraged and grabbed the dancer by her hair and slammed her head on the stage. A security guard intervened and was met by Jones’ entourage which consisted of half a dozen people. Later, once patrons left following the original confrontation, the club owner claimed a person from Jones' entourage had returned with a gun and shot into a crowd of people. Three people were shot, one of which was former professional wrestler Tommy Urbanski who was paralyzed from the waist down. Jones later accepted a plea deal on December 6, Jones pleaded no contest to one charge of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. He was given a suspended prison sentence of one year, probation, and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. On April 10, 2007, NFL commissioner, Rodger Goodell, announced a one-year suspension for Jones for violating the NFL player conduct policy. Goodell later reviewed Jones' suspension but did not lighten his punishment. On January 3, 2008, Jones was in an Atlanta, GA strip club and was accused of hitting a women but she did not report the incident until January 15. The women asked for an arrest warrant to be placed on Jones but the women later dropped her request for a warrant. On April 23, 2008, Jones was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. If Jones was reinstated for the 2008-2009 season, the Cowboys would also give their sixth-round pick to Tennessee in 2009; if not, the Titans would have to send their fourth-round pick to the Cowboys in 2009. If Jones was to be suspended again, the Titans would have to give their fifth-round pick to the Cowboys in 2009 and return the sixth-round pick to Dallas. The Titans made it clear that they would do anything to rid themselves of Jones. Jones and the Titans reached a financial settlement with the Titans regarding his contract situation, Jones agreed to send $500,000 to a charity of the Titans choice within the next two years. The Cowboys and Jones also agreed to a four-year contract that would protect the Cowboys in the case if Jones had continued to have off-field mistakes. On April 24, NFL legends: Jim Brown, Michael Irvin, and Dion Sanders offered support and willingness to help Jones. On October 16, Jones entered an alcohol rehabilitation center just eight days after reports that Jones had an altercation with his bodyguard in a Dallas hotel. The police was not called and there was no police report but the NFL still ordered a four game suspension. In a letter from Goodell to Jones about the latest incident it: "a disturbing pattern of behavior and clearly inconsistent with the conditions I set for your continued participation in the NFL." The following season Jones returned on December 7, 2008 after missing the first six regular season games. During that game Jones suffered a neck injury that was thought to be a career ending injury, however Jones returned for the last game of the season. On February 9, 2009 the Cowboys officially released Jones. In August 2009 Jones agreed in principal to a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. However, Jones had called the CFL the "UFL" (United Football League) in an interview and the CFL took offense to his comments so the Blue Bombers decided to cut ties with Jones. The UFL offered Jones a contract but Jones declined the offer. On May 10, 2010, Jones signed a two-year deal with the Bengals. He went through the entire 2010 season without any incidences but suffered a serious neck injury during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on October 24; Jones was later placed on IR. Jones returned on October 30, 2011 but on his first punt return (that he went 60 yards with) suffered a hamstring injury and sat out the remainder of the game. On March 21, 2013 Jones signed a three-year contract extension. Jones was once again arrested after slapping an intoxicated-woman who he said "threw a bottle at him". Over the past few years "Pacman" Jones has spoken to NFL rookies at the rookie symposium, he still attended the 2013 symposium despite being arrested just a couple weeks before the event. Jones told the media that he "keeps it real" with rookies, I definitely won't argue with him on that.

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These six men are perfect examples of what not to be, well at least their past. To me it should be embedded in their mind to think about what they’re doing at a hundred times before they do what they plan on doing. There is no reason why you can’t keep yourself out of trouble.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to comment and let me know what you think.


<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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