NFL Wire News

NFL notebook: Ex-Pat Hernandez sentenced to life

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Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The unanimous jury verdict was turned over Wednesday morning and sentencing took place in the Fall River, Mass., courthouse one hour later. Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, was found guilty of all five gun-related charges.

Officers placed Hernandez in handcuffs and shackles as the complete verdict was read. Members of the Lloyd family then read impact statements to the court.

Hernandez was committed to state prison “for the term of his natural life without parole,” at MCI-Cedar Junction in Norfolk, Mass., which is just 3.4 miles from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home of the Patriots.

Massachusetts law requires an automatic appeal of the first-degree murder conviction.

Hernandez was arrested June 26, 2013.

Hernandez, 25, is scheduled to begin trial for a separate crime, a double homicide, next month in Boston.

—The Detroit Lions traded restricted free agent George Johnson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the teams settled their differences on the defensive end’s offer sheet.

The Lions will receive a fifth-round pick (No. 168 overall from New England) in the upcoming draft and the Buccaneers will get a seventh-round pick (No. 231 overall from Baltimore).

On Monday, the Lions contested the terms of a three-year, $9 million offer sheet Johnson signed with the Bucs last week.

—The New York Giants signed six-year veteran defensive back Josh Gordy, who played the last three seasons for the Indianapolis Colts.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Gordy has played in 59 regular-season games (11 starts) and played in six postseason games. His career totals include 103 tackles, five interceptions, 12 passes defensed and one sack in the regular season and eight tackles and a pass defensed in the playoffs.

—The Green Bay Packers signed quarterback Matt Blanchard.

Blanchard, a three-time national champion at Division III powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater, had spent the past three seasons with the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.

In 2012, the quarterback was on the Bears’ practice squad. In 2013, he was on the Panthers’ practice squad, and last year the Panthers stashed him on injured reserve with a concussion.

—The Miami Dolphins re-signed wide receiver LaRon Byrd.

Byrd was on the Dolphins’ practice squad last season before suffering a shoulder injury.

Undrafted out of the University of Miami in 2012, the 6-foot-4 speedster appeared in four games for the Arizona Cardinals, catching one pass. He spent 2013 on injured reserve and then bounced from Cleveland to Dallas to Miami last year.

—The top two quarterback prospects for the NFL draft reportedly performed well in the classroom at the league’s scouting combine.

According to Yahoo Sports, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota scored a 33 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test, and Florida State’s Jameis Winston recorded a 27. A score of 20 is considered to indicate average intelligence.

The scores were on par with those recorded in previous year by several Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks: The Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning each scored a 28. Winston’s 27 matched the result posted by the Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recorded a 25.

The Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers scored a 35, and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady had a 33.

—The Tennessee Titans, who hold the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft, met with Clemson outside linebacker Vic Beasley and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper on Wednesday.

NFLDraftScout.com ranks Cooper as the No. 5 overall prospect and Beasley as No. 6.

Beasley joins Florida’s Dante Fowler and Missouri’s Shane Ray as pass-rushing prospects who have met with the Titans.

The Titans met with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the favorite to be the No. 1 pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Monday. The Titans brought in Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota last week for a pre-draft visit.

NFLDraftScout.com ranks Winston as No. 1 overall and Mariota as No. 2.


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