New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft spoke at length Thursday about the Rolling Stone article on Aaron Hernandez, saying that some of the details in the story were inaccurate.
According to Boston.com, Kraft had this to say during his interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub, a Boston sports radio station:
“Reading the article, there were two, three, four things in particular that I saw that are completely, factually inaccurate,” Kraft said. “I don’t know the facts around the other pieces of the story, but it really makes me question it.”
Rolling Stone reported that Hernandez flew to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last Feb. and told Patriots coach Bill Belichick that his life was in danger.
Kraft said that wasn’t true, according to Boston.com’s report on his radio interview.
“I saw Bill today, and asked, ‘Did Aaron ever tell you his life was in danger?’ 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.”
Rolling Stone also reported that Belichick threatened to cut Hernandez if he had just one more problem, this coming after Hernandez had signed his long-term extension with the Patriots.
Kraft balked at that part of the story, saying during his radio interview: “I guess it’s theoretically possible. Financially, you wouldn’t do it. 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 said the story was wrong in stating that Hernandez skipped offseason workouts to be in California. In the process, he addressed the $82,000 workout bonus that the team is refusing to pay Hernandez, prompting the NFL Players Association to file a grievance against the team this week.
Kraft said Hernandez attended 25 of the Patriots’ 33 organized team activities between April and June, but that the threshold for Hernandez to collect the bonus was 90 percent of practices (30 of 33).
“You have to hit 90 percent in our contract, and Aaron didn’t hit 90 percent, in our view,” Kraft said.