Unfair to compare Brent, Hernandez situations


It took the New England Patriots roughly six minutes to release Aaron Hernandez after the tight end’s arrest stemming from a homicide investigation.

Josh Brent is still on the Cowboys’ roster more than six months after the nose tackle’s arrest for intoxication manslaughter.

It’s natural for folks to compare the way the Patriots and Cowboys dealt with the arrested players, but this is far from an apples vs. apples case.

The dead man’s mother in New England isn’t publicly pleading with Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick to do everything in their power to help Hernandez. Stacey Jackson, the mother of deceased Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, made it as clear as possible how important it was to her that the Cowboys not abandon her son’s best friend after Brent’s deadly, grievous judgment error.

There is also the matter of the charges and intent of the alleged crimes.

The police in Massachusetts have yet to make the charge against Hernandez public – and the Patriots could have more information than the media – but we know that he was arrested after a homicide investigation. At the very least, he is accused of destroying evidence to cover up the crime. At the worst, he was directly involved in a premeditated murder.

There is no excuse for Brent driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, especially since he had a previous drunk-driving conviction in college, but it was not his intent to kill Brown that night in December. The guilt was devastating.

The point isn’t to argue that the Patriots or Cowboys are right or wrong. (My opinion is that the Cowboys should have cut ties with Brent by now, considering that prosecutors allege that he has tested positive for alcohol and marijuana while out on bail.)

It just isn’t fair to compare the way the Cowboys have handled Brent to the way the Patriots dismissed Hernandez. The cases are too different to judge the same way, whether you’re a judge, jury member or general manager.