As the investigation into New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's connection to a recent homicide a half-mile from his home continues, NFL officials are taking a cautious approach as to how to deal with the situation.
Commissioner Roger Goodell -- no-nonsense in his past dealings with players who ran afoul of the law such as Michael Vick, Johnny Jolly and Adam "Pacman" Jones -- is currently waiting to see what developments occur legally before handing down a possible suspension to the standout pass-catcher.
Goodell has been quoted as saying, "We must protect the integrity of the NFL. The highest standards of conduct must be met by everyone in the NFL because it is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right.
"These players, and all members of our league, have to make the right choices and decisions in their conduct on a consistent basis."
Hernandez's North Attleborough, Mass. home was searched after the body of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was found by a jogger Monday. Lloyd's relatives told the AP that Pats' tight end and Odin were friends, and had been together late Sunday.
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Hernandez was also slapped with a lawsuit Wednesday by Florida native Alexander Bradley, 30, who said the athlete, in February, had shot him in the face following an altercation.
Hernandez, a standout at the University of Florida, was inked to a $40 million, five-year deal by the Pats last year. His high-profile teammates this season include Tom Brady , Rob Gronkowski and Tim Tebow.