Ex-Patriots Player Aaron Hernandez Had Advanced CTE

A new layer of complexity was just added to the tragic case of fallen-from-grace athlete Aaron Hernandez, who was found guilty of murder in 2015 and committed suicide in his prison cell last April.

It was revealed on Thursday that the former New England Patriots tight-end suffered from a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and now his estate is suing his former team.

According to Bleacher Report, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, who was engaged to the athlete, filed a lawsuit against the Patriots and the NFL seeking damages for his death to compensate his 4-year-old daughter after it was discovered Hernandez had stage 3 out of 4 CTE something typically found in someone with a median age of 67.

The Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern shared screen shots on Twitter of the $20 million lawsuit, which alleges the Patriots and NFL knew the potential dangers caused by repeated blows to the head, but still failed to properly protect Hernandez from harm.

According to theNew York Times, the lawyer for the Hernandez family, Jose Baez, said it was, “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age.”

Baez also said the family is contemplating filing a lawsuit against the NCAA and the University of Florida, where Hernandez spent three seasons with the Gators.

Even back then, the troubled athlete who was convicted of murder and serving a life sentence for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd before his death, showed signs of aggression.

More specifically, during the spring of 2007 while out with former teammate Tim Tebow, Hernandez was accused of punching a bouncer and rupturing his eardrum, according to theOrlando Sentinel. However, no charges were filed.

And despite Hernandez having a murky background, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick still saw potential at 20 years old and scooped up the athlete in the fourth-round of the NFL draft. The potential was so great that Hernandez later signed an extended five-yearcontractthe with team in August 2012 for $40 million.

To show his gratitude, Hernandez even donated $50,000 to the Patriots Charitable Foundation to thank Patriots owner Robert Kraft for having faith in him, according toCBS’s local Boston affiliate.

“He changed my life. Now I’m able to basically have a good chance to be set for life, and have a good life,” Hernandez said of Kraft and his contract extension back in 2012 to CBS.

“I have a daughter on the way, I have a family that I love. It’s just knowing that they’re going to be OK,” Hernandez added. “Knowing that my kids and my family will be able to have a good life, go to college, it’s just an honor that he did that for me.”

A year after what seemed like cloud nine for the tight-end, he was being escorted in handcuffs out of his home and into a prison cell with a revoked football contract and the Patriots exchangingmore than 1,200 Hernandez jerseys from fans.

The NFL did not comment on the recent medical findings and has declined to comment on the suit, according to the Times. The Patriots have declined to comment as well.

A JAMA study released in July revealed that CTE had been found in all but one of the 111 brains of former NFL players whose brains had been donated for research. The Massachusetts state medical examiner’s officeannounced in Maythat Hernandez’s brain would be released to his family for researchers to determine signs of CTE, a condition with no proven treatments.

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