by Aaron Wilson
August 29, 02013
New England Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft disputed a Rolling Stone article on former tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Kraft told 98.5 FM in Boston that there were four inaccuracies.
Kraft said the article's claim that Hernandez flew to the NFL scouting combine to tell Bill Belichick his life was in danger was a falsehood, adding that the Patriots coach never recommended Hernandez rent a safehouse.
“I saw Bill today, and asked, ‘Did Aaron ever tell you his life was in danger?’" Kraft said. "He’s like, ‘Absolutely not,’” Kraft said. “If a player had told Bill that his life was in danger, Bill would say, ‘We’re calling (security chief) Mark Briggs, we’re calling the authorities.’ His response wouldn’t be, ‘We’re going to get a safe house and you’re going to lie low.’ I know Bill, that’s not what he would say.”
Kraft said Belichick didn't threaten to cut Hernandez after last season.
“I guess it’s theoretically possible. Financially, you wouldn’t do it,” Kraft said. ”If we had known what people seem to think what we know about Aaron Hernandez, we would not have done that deal, and Bill would never threaten a player with being cut 12 months down the road. It makes no sense both in terms of how you’re interacting with the player and in terms of the cap.”
Kraft stuck up for Briggs, the director of team security criticized in the article.
“Mark spends a tremendous amount of time talking to police forces, the FBI, the CIA, because I see them in here,” Kraft said. “He understands crowds and he understands terrorism and he’s been in combat and in difficult situations. He’s the right guy to run a venue in today’s world.”
Hernandez atttended 25 of 33 team activities, according to Kraft, but needed to go to at least 30 of 33 to reach 90 percent and earn an $82,000 workout bonus the NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the club to try to recover.
“You have to hit 90 percent in our contract, and Aaron didn’t hit 90 percent, in our view,” Kraft said.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.