Aaron Hernandez went from jovial to intense in an instant and his behavior and demeanor were wildly unpredictable on a given day, former teammates of the late New England Patriots tight end told the Boston Globe.
In the third of a six-part series on Hernandez, who committed suicide in a prison cell after being convicted of murder, The Globe described a troubled individual who reached out to teammates and coaches for help.
According to the Spotlight series, Hernandez approached coach Bill Belichick in 2013 in what was described as a “state of deepening paranoia.” The report states that Belichick “saw little reason to get more than minimally involved.”
Hernandez died in jail in 2017. He was serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for killing Odin Lloyd in 2013.
Former teammate Dane Fletcher said he came to blows with Hernandez and described him as selfish. Fletcher also said he dropped Hernandez off at his “side place” where he kept drugs and ammunition.
Brandon Lloyd, who played wide receiver for the Patriots, Rams, Broncos and 49ers, told The Globe he witnessed erratic behavior and more from Hernandez.
“There would be swings where he’d be the most hyper-masculine, aggressive individual in the room, where he’d be ready to fight somebody in fits of rage,’’ said Lloyd. “Or he’d be the most sensitive person in the room, talking about cuddling with his mother. Or he’d ask me, ‘Do you think I’m good enough to play?’’’
Lloyd recalled a conversation with another former wide receiver on the team, Wes Welker, that touched on unpredictable and volatile mood swings and sensitive details regarding what Welker perceived as past history.
“He is looking at me wide-eyed,’’ Lloyd recalled of Welker, “and he says, ‘I just want to warn you that (Hernandez) is going to talk about being bathed by his mother. He’s going to have his genitalia out in front of you while you’re sitting on your stool. He’s going to talk about gay sex. Just do your best to ignore it. Even walk away.’”
Lloyd said quarterback Tom Brady snapped at Hernandez in one particular instance during a walk-through.
“(Hernandez) was out at the walk-through in flip-flops trying to run around,’’ Lloyd said. “He was laughing. He was loud. And Tom keeps it serious in the walk-through. And Tom says, ‘Shut the (expletive) up. Get the (expletive) out of here.’’’
Lloyd said the change in Hernandez’s mood was almost always sudden.
“It was like he went from this child-like, laughing, disruptive behavior,” Lloyd said, “and he storms off in a fit of rage.”
—Field Level Media