Originally written on New England Sports React  |  Last updated 11/18/14

It seems that I’m not the only one that feels as if tight end Aaron Hernandez has a very bright future ahead of him.  Apparently the New England Patriots ownership agrees, having just yesterday signed him to a five-year deal worth $42 million with $12.5 million guaranteed.  According to Hernandez, he saw the deal in his near future once his counterpart agreed to a long-term extension.  ”I knew it was coming, just cause, when Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) got it, I knew there was a good chance I was next in line,” he said.  ”Now that it happened, it’s definitely a blessing, and take it in, I’m excited to go on with my life.”  Hernandez was quite grateful for the offer from owner Robert Kraft, stirring up plenty of emotions for the third-year tight end.  ”As soon as we started talking about contracts, I was emotional from that day on,” he said.  ”Honestly, it’s hard for me here (at the gala) to stay, keeping my mind off it, and it’s just, like I said, it’s surreal. Probably when I’m done with this conversation I’ll get some tears in my eyes. But it’s real, and it’s an honor.”  He was so honored by the contract, in fact, that he immediately went into Kraft’s office following the signing and presented him with a check for $50,000 to be donated into the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund, a gesture that really touched the Pats owner to the point where he referred to it as one of the most touching moments of his tenure with the team.

Personally, I’d like to congratulate Hernandez on signing this contract and earning some well-deserved respect in doing so.  He was very deserving of such a deal, and now he will be donning the Pats’ red, white, and blue for the next few seasons to the chagrin of Patriots fans I’m sure.  I’d also like to congratulate the Patriots on getting this deal done so quickly, especially given the trouble they’ve had locking up Wes Welker.  The Pats aren’t known to throw money around, but spending nearly $100 million on their two superstar tight ends certainly defied that principle.  New England has been willing to roll the dice with a party boy in Gronk and a reckless guy in Hernandez, but both have panned out with each player succumbing to the Patriot Way which has transformed so many troublemakers in the past.  With these two locked up long-term, the Pats certainly have years of great offensive production to look forward to.  And as long as he remains playing, Tom Brady will have the comfort of having both guys to throw to for years to come.  All-in-all, this move is a win-win situation for both parties, and I can’t wait to see how Hernandez comes out this season with a new contract sure to motivate his play to another level.  The rest of the NFL better watch out because the “Boston TE Party” is back, recharged and ready to once again dominate the league.

-Ryan Hartley

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