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Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez was officially charged with first degree murder on Wednesday afternoon.  He’s also been slapped with 5 gun-related charges, though he’s pleaded not guilty to everything.  We’ll continue to stay on top of this situation as news breaks.  But Hernandez is officially safe to ignore in 2013 fantasy drafts.  He's also free falling in our keeper rankings.

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The Patriots have released TE Aaron Hernandez.  They're not messing around with the situation.  The murder case Hernandez is being investigated for has turned into a giant distraction.  He's likely looking at a lengthy suspension from the league, on top of any jail time he might serve.  Still, it's a surprising move by the Patriots.  Hernandez is only 23 years old and has averaged 4.6 catches, 51 yards and .5 TDs per game over his first 3 NFL seasons.  He's one of the top young talents in the game and was an integral part of a New England offense that heavily utilized 2-TE sets.  The Patriots now have only Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui behind Rob Gronkowski on the depth chart.  This offense figures to look quite different in 2013.  We'll help fantasy owners sort it out this summer.

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1 year ago

ESPN is reporting that Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez was taken away from his home in handcuffs this morning.  The arrest has seemed inevitable for a while now.  Police have been searching in and around Hernandez's house for the past week.  At minimum, he's likely being charged with obstruction of justice.  It's still unclear if he'll face charges steeper than that.  Commissioner Goodell could elect to suspend Hernandez at any time now.

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Police returned to the home of Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez for hours of searching Friday.  The efforts -- which included K-9 units and a locksmith -- reportedly produced several bags that appeared to carry evidence.  Hernandez still has not been arrested and charged with anything, but it's just the latest in a bad string of events for the 23-year-old.  We -- and the rest of the NFL-interested public -- will keep watch on this situation and adjust Hernandez's fantasy football outlook accordingly.

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The investigation of Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez's role in this week's homicide figures to drag out.  Legal proceedings will take even longer.  But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can suspend Hernandez at any time.  Fox Sports' Alex Marvez points out that Goodell has the right to hand down a suspension even if charges are never filed against Hernandez.  Goodell took that tactic a few years ago with Ben Roethlisberger, suspending him for 6 games despite the fact that Big Ben was never charged.  We'd be surprised if Hernandez didn't receive a significant ban considering the damage he's done to the league's reputation.  Marvez reports that Hernandez and Goodell are expected to meet to discuss the situation.  We've already knocked a couple games' worth of production off Hernandez's 2013 projections.  He could fall even farther down our TE Rankings.

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Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez will reportedly be arrested in connection with the ongoing homicide investigation.  It's clear that he's emerged as a suspect in the case.  The latest story has Hernandez driving with the victim the night of his death.  At this point, we'd be shocked if Hernandez escaped this mess without a suspension.  And that'd probably be the best-case scenario.  He could certainly be looking at a lengthy jail sentence depending on what the rest of the investigation turns up.  We're getting ready to move him down in our TE Rankings.

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Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez has reportedly not  been ruled out as a suspect in the homicide that took place near his home earlier this week.  A law enforcement source says that Hernandez has not been cooperating with authorities conducting the investigation.  There's still a lot we don't know about the situation, but it's starting to look worse and worse for Hernandez.  In the best-case scenario, the whole situation will be a giant distraction for him and the Patriots.  In worst case, Hernandez is looking at jail time and/or an NFL suspension.  We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.

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Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez is currently caught up in a homicide investigation.  The body of a 27-year-old Boston man was found about a mile from Hernandez's home on Monday.  A vehicle rented in Hernandez's name is considered a key piece of evidence in the case.  He's not currently considered a suspect, but police are clearly interested in his involvement.  According to Sports Illustrated, 10 cop cars surrounded Hernandez's home on Tuesday, and he was questioned "for more than 2 hours."  We'll continue to update this story as we learn more.

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Patriots insider Mike Reiss spotted TE Aaron Hernandez catching passes from QB Tom Brady after Tuesday's OTA session.  It doesn't sound like Hernandez was participating in full-squad work, but he's clearly making progress in his return from shoulder surgery.  We haven't received any updates on Hernandez's status from the secretive Patriots.  The procedure was reportedly minor, though, and all signs point to Hernandez being ready for the start of training camp.  Durability will remain a concern -- he's missed 10 games in 3 seasons -- but Hernandez comes with a sky-high fantasy ceiling.  That ceiling will be raised if TE Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) isn't ready for Week 1.

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Patriots insider Mike Reiss hears that TE Aaron Hernandez "can expect about a four-month recovery period" from his shoulder surgery.  Reiss adds that it's possible Hernandez starts training camp on the PUP list.  That contradicts a report last week that called the procedure a "minor scope" and said Hernandez might be ready in time for June minicamp.  We're not expecting to get a concrete timetable from the Pats.  Reiss at least says Hernandez will be ready for the start of the regular season, "barring any unexpected setbacks."  We'll continue to keep a close eye on his recovery.  For now, we'd still feel comfortable targeting Hernandez in the 6th or 7th round of fantasy drafts.

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Patriots insider Greg Bedard hears from a league source that TE Aaron Hernandez's shoulder surgery was a "minor scope."  The procedure took place about 2 weeks ago.  Hernandez is fully expected to be ready for training camp and may even get on the field for June minicamp.  He's currently rehabbing in California.  It doesn't sound like the shoulder will be an issue this season, although we can never be sure with the Patriots.  If nothing else, Hernandez seems like a safer bet to be ready for Week 1 than teammate Rob Gronkowski.  Ultimately, though, we expect both guys to be ready to go.

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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has learned that Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez underwent shoulder surgery this offseason.  No details on the extent of the injury, when it occurred or when he went under the knife.  Hernandez is expected to miss OTAs and minicamp, but the "likelihood" is that he'll be ready for training camp, per Rapoport.  So both of New England's stud TEs are now on the mend.  For Hernandez, it's another line in a laundry list of injuries.  He's missed 10 games across his first 3 NFL seasons with hip, knee and ankle problems.  Barring a setback, it doesn't sound like the shoulder will be an issue for the 2013 season.  But Hernandez's ability to stay on the field will continue to be a concern.

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Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez changed his workout routine this offseason in hopes of playing all 16 games this year.  He's yet to accomplish that feat in 3 NFL seasons, missing a total of 10 games.  It was a hip injury in 2009, a sprained MCL in 2010 and a high-ankle sprain this past year.   “Just been training, trying to get my body right, get my strength up so I can have a decent season next year,” Hernandez said of his new routine. “I’d say more attention to specific muscles instead of just doing the basic bench, squat and all that other stuff. I’d say I started a little earlier this year to maybe try to get through 16 games this season."  We've never believed that durability is a trait that can be improved.  Some guys are just injury-prone.  Hernandez hasn't quite earned that tag yet though.  He's well worth targeting in fantasy drafts this summer.  Outside of teammate Rob Gronkowski and New Orleans' Jimmy Graham, Hernandez has more upside than any other TE heading into 2013.

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1 year ago

Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is officially active for tonight's game against the Jets.  His snaps are expected to be limited, but the ultra-talented TE is still a high-upside fantasy option.  He went for 30 yards and a score in his first game back from a 3-week absence earlier this season.

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Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is officially listed as questionable for Thursday's game against the Jets.  There's a consensus among New England media that Hernandez will play, but we won't know for sure until 7 pm ET tomorrow.  If Hernandez is active, his snaps are expected to be limited.  But he can do plenty of damage with just a handful of targets.  Our Week 12 projections for Hernandez can be found here.

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NFL insider Jason La Canfora confirms that Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is expected to play against Jets on Thursday night.  But La Canfora adds that Hernandez will be limited.  We'll see about that.  The whole "limited" thing is often overblown, especially for star players like Hernandez.  In his first game back from a 3-week absence earlier this season, he played 38 of 87 snaps and finished with 6 catches, 30 yards, and a score.  We're betting he plays even more than that on Thursday.  New England needs him with TE Rob Gronkowski out.  As long as Hernandez is active, he'll be a high-upside fantasy option.

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Patriots insider Greg Bedard reports that TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is expected back for Thursday night's game against the Jets.  He was supposedly held out yesterday because he would have struggled with the short turnaround.  TE Rob Gronkowski's injury is probably a factor here too.  Regardless, Hernandez should immediately return as a key cog in New England's passing attack.  He'll carry some risk in his first action since Week 7, but Hernandez's upside will make him a must-start in fantasy.  In 3 healthy games this season, he's compiled 17 catches, 143 yards, and 2 TDs.

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