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Hernandez investigation damages NFL
Published 6/26/2013 6:00:00 AM
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The search for Odin Lloyd’s killer is not over.

The most intriguing story underlying this offseason for the NFL involves the connection between New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, and the killing of 27-year-old Lloyd.

Lloyd, a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found dead less than a mile away from Hernandez’s home on June 17.

Lloyd had been reportedly with Hernandez the night of the homicide, according to several news reports and Lloyd’s sisters.

Additionally, sources within the investigation told ABC News that a neighborhood video captured four men walking together late at night, two of which were Hernandez and Lloyd, possibly hours before Lloyd was killed.

Not surprisingly, investigators searched the home of Hernandez in hope of revealing new evidence into the homicide. One of the items taken from Hernandez’s home included his destroyed cell phone.

ABC News reported that Hernandez’s home surveillance videos, which were handed over to authorities, were destroyed even before Lloyd’s body had been found.

And an even stranger thing: Hernandez also hired a cleaning crew to wash his Boston home before Lloyd’s body was discovered.

The utter fact Hernandez would be associated with a homicide has already disturbed sports fans.

The involvement of Hernandez also casts another damaging spotlight on the NFL, and weakens the confidence of fans to support the league’s long list of arrested players.

On Monday, investigators continued the search for answers into the bizarre case by diving into a pond near the home of Hernandez, but have not obtained any evidence thus far.

As of right now, no suspects have been arrested or charged, and it may take several months to uncover the truth of Lloyd’s tragic end.

However, for Hernandez to destroy vital information via cell phones, security videos and cleaning supplies, the story has reached a terrifying point.

And even if Hernandez is innocent, the mere fact he would be connected with the homicide and a possible cover-up is disturbing to the athletic community, including the NFL. Of course, Hernandez has not yet been arrested in connection with the murder of Lloyd, due to the early stages of the investigation.

But the circumstances and odd behaviors expressed by Hernandez and his attorneys have the potential to destroy the promising career he possessed.

After signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Patriots last year, Hernandez might be engulfed in never-ending legal matters. Also, potential charges of obstruction of justice could place him in prison for multiple years.

In recent history, NFL players have come up morally and financially defeated in the courtroom, an unfortunately familiar playing field for most athletes.

In 2007, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pled guilty to charges of dogfighting and spent the next 18 months in prison.

Other high-profiled NFL players such as Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones and Titus Young have all been arrested in the past year, all but dooming their chances at redeeming their careers at the professional level.

For these individuals, who worked against the efforts of state and legal authorities, their careers and future plans were destroyed in a matter of months.

By Hernandez refusing to provide adequate information to authorities or speak with the media, public opinion may have already charged him with being the next O.J. Simpson.

In Hernandez’s case, a possible conviction or prison time may also destroy another document essential to his well-being in the future: his contract with the Patriots.

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