Your Thursday morning open thread:
Football players running afoul of the law is nothing new. Most of the time these days, fans react to the news of another arrest with a shrug.
But the Aaron Hernandez situation feels different. He’s not retired. He’s not some obscure player. And this wasn't a D.U.I. Hernandez is a 23-year-old former Pro Bowler who starred for one of the NFL’s most popular teams.
Two years ago, he caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, he was charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of an associate. Within two hours of his arrest, the tight end was released by the Patriots, who are eating millions of dollars in cap charges as a result.
Hernandez reportedly plummeted in the 2010 draft because many teams had concerns about his character, and specifically the shady characters the former Gator surrounded himself with off the field. The Pats assumed that risk when they drafted him in the fourth round. And now they're paying for that decision - literally.
Which brings us to today's question. How much of a black eye is this for the NFL?
Sound off in the comments below.