FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Grim-faced coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday the Patriots will learn from the "terrible experience" of Aaron Hernandez's arrest on a murder charge and work to improve their player evaluation process.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the former Florida tight end was arrested four weeks ago, Belichick said he was "shocked and disappointed" to learn of the investigation while he was out of the United States. He also sought to minimize future attention on the case.
"My comments are certainly not in proportion to the unfortunate and sad situation that we have here, but I've been advised to address the subject once, and it's time for the New England Patriots to move forward," Belichick said. "Moving forward consists of what it's always been here: to build a winning football team, to be a strong pillar in the community and be a team that our fans can be proud of."
The Patriots cut Hernandez after he was arrested June 26 and before he was charged in the shooting death of a friend. He has pleaded not guilty. He was in court for a probable cause hearing Wednesday. Prosecutors asked for more time to present evidence to a grand jury. The hearing was rescheduled for Aug. 22.
Belichick wouldn't answer a question about starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who was charged with drunken driving after being pulled over on July 11 in Lincoln, Neb., while on probation. He remains on the team.
Browns: CEO Joe Banner tried to reassure fans owner Jimmy Haslam will not be forced to sell the team in the wake of a federal investigation into Haslam's Pilot Flying J truck-stop business. "I don't see that scenario, but, you know … " Banner said, his answer trailing off.
Broncos: All-Pro linebacker Von Miller offered no details about his pending four-game substance-abuse suspension but was adamant he doesn't smoke marijuana. He said his case is under appeal and "I don't think I let my teammates down."
Colts: First-round draft pick Bjoern Werner, from Florida State, signed a four-year contract worth $7.896 million, with $6.4 million guaranteed, and will get a $4.12 million signing bonus, the Associated Press reported.
Cowboys: With defensive-front injuries piling up, the team signed defensive end and former Bull George Selvie. Selvie played nine games with the Jaguars last year and was waived by the Bucs in May.
Falcons: Cornerback Desmond Trufant, this year's first-round draft pick, signed a four-year deal his agent, Doug Hendrickson, said was for $8.16 million with $4.3 million guaranteed.
Redskins: Robert Griffin III, who had reconstructive surgery on two right knee ligaments in January, passed the perfunctory conditioning test on the eve of training camp, then declared he has "nothing left to prove," at least physically. Still, the quarterback said he won't participate in 11-on-11 drills in the camp's early days and likely won't play in any preseason games.