Hernandez's former Patriots teammates tell the Boston Globe that the tight end displayed erratic mood swings during his time in New England.
Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez displayed erratic and troubling behavior during his last season with the team, several of his former teammates told The Boston Globe.
According to Spotlight's third installment of a six-part series on Hernandez, several teammates in New England noticed Hernandez's bizarre behavior before he was accused of the 2013 killing of his friend Odin Lloyd. The report provides the first extensive details from teammates regarding Hernandez's final season with the Patriots in 2012. Hernandez killed himself in prison in 2017.
"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," former Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd said. "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 also recalled a time when Hernandez threatened to "f--- up" wide receiver Wes Welker during training camp in 2012. Welker had teased Hernandez about needing help breaking down film.
"[Welker] is looking at me wide-eyed,'' Lloyd recalled, "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.'"
The Globe's report also details an incident in which Tom Brady had lost his patience with the tight end. Hernandez, who was sitting out of practice with an injury, was causing a disruption 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 f--- up. Get the f--- out of here.' It was like [Hernandez] went from this child-like, laughing, disruptive behavior, and he storms off in a fit of rage."
The Globe reported that Hernandez approached coach Bill Belichick in 2013 in a "state of deepening paranoia," but that Belichick "saw little reason to get more than minimally involved."
According to text messages obtained by The Globe, Brady, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Brady's personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, did try to encourage Hernandez and look after him. When several of Hernandez's teammates noticed the tight end was spending time with ex-convicts, however, they took it as a bad sign.
"I knew they were trouble," former Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher said. "Everybody kind of did."