Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/24/13
The book on Aaron Hernandez‘s career with the Patriots is closed. Bill Belichick delivered the epilogue Wednesday afternoon with more words and emotion than what was expected. The jerseys have been returned and recycled, the football cards have been torn up by New England young people who have been told as many grizzly details as their parents deemed necessary. Hernandez’s bio has been removed from the team website, his name has been taken off the depth chart and his locker has been cleaned out. It’s time to move on from Hernandez until his trial starts and focus on football, which officially returns to New England on Friday when the team holds its first training camp practice. The head coach said it best: “It’s time for the New England Patriots to move forward.” Don’t expect Belichick or anyone with the Patriots to address the situation further. Hernandez has been cut from the team and, in classic Patriots fashion, the coaches and players will only talk about the men that are on the roster from here on out. Tom Brady told Peter King of Sports Illustrated that he has moved on from the situation. The Patriots will stress that above all else in the coming days, weeks and months. Belichick was able to get out of discussing specifics by stressing he can’t discuss the people involved in an ongoing legal proceeding. Even with that excuse to rely on, Belichick was more forthcoming than expected. He read from a prepared statement for seven minutes, then answered questions from the heart. It was a different Belichick than the New England media is accustomed to seeing. There were no grunts, no cliches and even two light moments. Belichick didn’t say he was sorry — and he didn’t have to — but he did say as the team’s head coach, he’s responsible for the players who are on the team. Belichick said he’s proud of the hundreds of players who have come through the facility since he started coaching in 2000. The team takes certain risks, and sometimes they don’t pay off. Belichick said that Hernandez does not represent the Patriots organization. Belichick would not get into specifics whether the team would change how it evaluates players coming out of college. He said there have been discussions about it, but nothing is concrete. The team will not have to get into that until after the season is over in January or February. Ultimately, the press conference was a good decision for the Patriots. They chose a few hand-picked media outlets to cover Robert Kraft‘s statements on the situation and got Belichick’s presser out of the way before training camp officially starts. Players arrive Thursday, and the first practice open to the media is Friday. They were wise to schedule the circus two days before players had to get on the field. If anything, the captains who will speak Thursday will likely further defuse the situation by refusing to comment on Hernandez. Belichick couldn’t handle the Hernandez situation like he handled Tim Tebow‘s arrival. Had he treated it the same way, many would have criticized the head coach for being disrespectful. Instead, Belichick treated the situation and the media members with the respect it and they deserved: by jumping into it headfirst and answering the questions he thought he could. This has not been an easy situation to deal with for anyone involved, but the Patriots have handled it the right way, from cutting Hernandez as soon as he was arrested to Belichick’s press conference, which will likely be the last anyone speaks of Hernandez as a Patriot. There’s no need for the New England organization to continue to twist its name into the proceedings. The Patriots are a football team, after all, and it’s not the team’s fault that the unfortunate situation occurred. Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here. Filed under: Doug Kyed, New England Patriots, Top Stories
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Dallas Mavericks solidify future with Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan signings

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team


Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Yankees get A-Rod's 3,000th hit ball for $150,000 donation

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Lakers apologize for first, get second meeting with Aldridge

Mike Scioscia: Josh Hamilton should apologize to Arte Moreno

Sacramento Kings continue to be an utter disaster

Remember when the Cincinnati Bearcats were the scariest team in America?

Are the Angels now the worst organization in baseball?

Five reasons the Browns should play Johnny Manziel

Blue Jays need rookies to keep producing for success in 2015

WATCH: Sean Doolittle gets cup check from teammate

University of Florida developing high-tech smart mouth guard

Pat McAfee is the best punter in NFL history

Mets coach on slump: The only thing left is human sacrifice

MLB teams who will continue to surprise in second half

2015 Women’s World Cup Final: The Rematch

Answering the five biggest questions in NBA free agency

Report: Mavericks sign Wes Matthews to four-year contract

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.