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Patriots Release Aaron Hernandez

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The New England Patriots have released tight end Aaron Hernandez after he was arrested Wednesday morning at his Massachusetts home.

The release comes just two hours after Hernandez was taken out of his home in handcuffs. Hernandez was arrested after four unmarked police cars pulled up to his home and officers placed the Patriots tight end into custody. The team called the release of Hernandez "the right thing to do" in a statement released on Wednesday:

"A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do."

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Hernandez has spent his entire three-year career with the Patriots after being drafted in the fourth round in the 2010 NFL Draft. Last season, Hernandez caught 51 passes with 483 yards with five touchdowns. Hernandez has 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns over this three years as a tight end in New England.

The Patriots signed Hernandez to a five-year, $40 million contract extension in August, 2012 with $16 million of that contract being guaranteed money as a signing bonus.

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