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Aaron Hernandez Released By New England Patriots

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Aaron Hernandez (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — Aaron Hernandez is no longer a member of the New England Patriots.

The Patriots announced Wednesday morning, shortly after Hernandez had been arrested in his home, that they released Hernandez from the team.

“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss,” the team said in a statement. “Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process.  At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”

Hernandez was arrested Wednesday morning in his home in North Attleboro, Mass., eight days after the body of Odin Lloyd was found nearby. He was charged with murder Wednesday afternoon.

The Patriots drafted Hernandez in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million extension in the summer of 2012. Of that $40 million, $16 million was guaranteed, and according to the NFL Network, the Patriots may still have to pay Hernandez $2.46 million over the next two years.

Police had spent time inside Hernandez’s house since last Tuesday, when the investigation began.

The NFL released the following statement after Hernandez’s release: “The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling. The Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez, who will have his day in court. At the same time, we should not forget the young man who was the victim in this case and take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to Odin Lloyd’€™s family and friends.”

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