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NFL teams cannot sign Aaron Hernandez without league hearing

Photo: Stew Mine/US Presswire

Aaron Hernandez was released by the Patriots on Tuesday after being arrested and charged with murder.

NEW YORK (AP) The NFL told its teams Thursday that any player contract they enter into with Aaron Hernandez before charges against him are resolved won't be approved without a hearing by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league said the hearing would be to decide if the former New England Patriots tight end should be suspended or face other action before a resolution of the charges is reached. It said no player contract with Hernandez would take effect before a hearing.

Hernandez was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and weapons counts in the shooting death of a friend, Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was cut by the Patriots after the arrest and before his court appearance and is being held without bail.

Meanwhile, Puma announced Thursday that it has ended its relationship with Hernandez.

The sportswear company ended the two-year contract it agreed to in April with Hernandez, Puma spokesperson Katie Sheptyck said. She did not say how much it was worth.

Hernandez "was going to be involved with our men's training program" but had not started working with Puma and his role wasn't specifically defined, Sheptyck said. The agreement didn't involve product endorsements, she said.

Last Friday, five days before Hernandez was arrested, the company that makes Muscle Milk said it was ending its endorsement deal with him.

CytoSport, based in Benicia, Calif., said in a one-sentence statement that in light of the investigation involving Hernandez, it was terminating its endorsement contract with him effective immediately.

The company, which makes Muscle Milk and other nutritional supplements for athletes, did not disclose the value of the contract or what it called for Hernandez to do.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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