BOSTON (CBS) — This week’s Rolling Stone article about Aaron Hernandez drew much national attention, including some questions about the accuracy of some of the details included in the story.
On Thursday night, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft refuted some of the claims in the story. Specifically, he said that Hernandez never told head coach Bill Belichick that he feared for his life, and that the coach never threatened to cut the tight end.
“I obviously wasn’t in the room, but it said that Aaron had told Bill that he feared for his life and that his life was in danger, and that Bill’s response was to tell him to go get a safe house and lie low,” Kraft told 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“I think I would’ve known if that had ever happened, but I saw Bill today, and I said, ‘Bill, did Aaron ever tell you his life was in danger?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely not.’ If a player had told Bill that his life was in danger, Bill would say, ‘We’re calling Mark Briggs, and we’re calling the authorities.’ His response wouldn’t be, ‘We’re going to get a safe house, and you’re going to go lie low.’
“I know Bill. It’s not what he would say.”
The story, written by Paul Solotaroff and Ron Borges, said that Hernandez flew to Indianapolis during the scouting combine “and confided to Belichick that his life was in danger.”
The story also said that Hernandez was “one misstep away from being cut.” The Patriots did not release Hernandez until June 26, the day he was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd.
“If we had known what people seemed to think we know about Aaron Hernandez, we would not have done that deal,” Kraft said of Hernandez’s five-year, $40 million extension.
“I don’t know how much else in it is true or not true, because I don’t know the facts around the other pieces of the story,” Kraft said. “But it really makes me question it. It reads like an entertaining read, but it makes me question [it]. … The things that I know about the article are just factually inaccurate, just completely factually inaccurate.”
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Kraft also addressed the ongoing situation in which the NFLPA filed a grievance against the team for not paying Hernandez bonus money for attending workouts. He said that Hernandez did not attend 90 percent of the workouts, which was a necessity in order to earn the bonus.
Listen to the Jonathan Kraft interview here: