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Brian Urlacher

NFL Turned Blind Eye ...

To Patriots' Deflategate

4/24/2015 7:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Former NFL superstar Brian Urlacher clearly believes Roger Goodell treats the New England Patriots like they're above the law ... and Deflategate is the definitive proof. 

Urlacher was hanging with Jay Glazer at their Unbreakable Performance Center in West Hollywood ... when we asked how he felt about President Obama joking about the scandal yesterday. 

That's when the former Chicago Bears star attacked the issue with biting sarcasm. 

"That didn't happen right? I thought it went away. No one ever got fined for it right? I haven't heard anything since the Super Bowl."

Urlacher proceeded to explain how the Falcons and the Browns got in trouble for far less serious infractions ... yet the Patriots have yet to face ANY consequences for the alleged cheating scheme. 

Check out the clip. 

Rob Gronkowski

Dating Ex-Patriots Cheerleader

4/24/2015 6:51 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Sorry ladies, Rob Gronkowski is officially taken ... dating a super hot former New England Patriots cheerleader ... multiple sources close to Gronk confirm to TMZ Sports

The object of Gronk's affection is Camille Kostek -- who was on the cheerleading squad in 2013 and 2014 ... before switching careers and becoming a TV reporter. 

There have been multiple sightings of the couple out and about recently -- but now, our Gronk sources say it's official ... they're dating and they're not trying to hide anything. 

Congrats!! 

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New England Patriots

President Cracks

Deflategate, Gronk Jokes

4/23/2015 1:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

President Barack Obama went in way harder on the New England Patriots than Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did in in the Super Bowl -- unloading a ton of jokes poking fun at the champs.

Obama had his A-game working as he ripped Bill Belichick, Rob Gronkowski and even attempted a Boston accent. Fittingly, the joke that fell most flat ... his Deflategate material. The Pats did not seem amused.

Darrelle Revis was also at the event ... which could've been awkward since he left the team this offseason to sign with the rival NY Jets. 

Pats' Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler (who was singled out by Obama) told TMZ Sports it was no big deal having him there. "We all went to war together, we all practice and work hard together. He earned it just like we did."

New England Patriots

Arrive to the White House

... No Brady? No Problem!

4/23/2015 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The New England Patriots just arrived to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. ... again ... only this time, they're without the team's biggest star Tom Brady

Gronk, Edelman, Belichick, Bob Kraft and more were all suited up and fired up for their meeting with President Obama ... a meeting they earned by winning the Super Bowl. 

So why no Brady? The QB reportedly had to pass on the White House trip due to a family obligation -- though, it's unclear what that obligation is. 

By the way, Brady has been to the White House for the celebratory meet-and-greet 3 times before ('02, '04 and '05) ... but there was a different POTUS back then, George W. Bush. 

Odin Lloyd's Mom

Re-Files Wrongful Death Suit

Against Hernandez AND Patriots

4/22/2015 7:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Odin Lloyd's mother is moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against Aaron Hernandez AND the New England Patriots ... hoping to collect on the MILLIONS she claims the team was supposed to pay the former tight end. 

Ursula Ward has re-filed docs in state court in Massachusetts that she originally filed back in 2013 ... claiming Hernandez should be held financially liable for the wrongful death of her son.  

Of course, Hernandez was convicted of Lloyd's murder -- so, Ward has a pretty solid case against Aaron. 

But in the suit, Ward also names the New England Patriots as "reach and apply defendants" -- meaning that if she wins ... she wants to be able to collect her judgment from the Pats. 

Now, this is important because Ward claims that Hernandez has a right to collect $3.25 million of a signing bonus that she claims was due back in March 2014. 

Ward does not specify how much she's demanding from Hernandez. 

Aaron Hernandez

Victim's Mom Mulling Lawsuit

... Over Son's Murder

4/22/2015 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0421-ursula-lloyd-GETTY-01Odin Lloyd's mother tells TMZ Sports ... she's still deciding whether or not she will file a wrongful death lawsuit against Aaron Hernandez ... a lawsuit that could potentially be worth MILLIONS of dollars.

With Hernandez having been convicted of murdering the former semi-pro football player, the odds are extremely good that Lloyd's family would win a civil case against him. 

And since Hernandez was an NFL star who made MILLIONS during his brief career ... there's real money on the line. 

But when we spoke with Ursula Ward this week, she told us she had not made up her mind about whether she will go through with the lawsuit. 

Ward wouldn't explain why she's on the fence -- but sometimes, grieving families would rather move on with their lives instead of reliving the nightmare in another high profile case ... no matter how much money is at stake. 

Hernandez Double Murder Case

Victim's Family Still Patriots Fans

4/20/2015 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The family of one of the victims in the Aaron Hernandez double murder case says they will still root for the Patriots ... and will not hold Aaron's heinous crimes against the NFL team. 

We spoke with Susan Vincente ... cousin of Safiro Furtado, one of the two people killed in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston-area nightclub back in 2013. Hernandez is the prime suspect. 

"He needs to be brought to justice," Susan says ... "My cousin never had an enemy. He was calm and loving."

Susan says Safiro's mother is still devastated over the death of her son -- "It's still an open wound. It's been tough for her since day 1." 

Officials say Hernandez plotted the attack because someone in Furtado's party accidentally spilled a drink on the former NFL star inside the club. Hernandez has been charged with murder and his trial is expected to begin later this year. 

But when it comes to the Patriots, Susan says she does NOT hold anyone in the organization responsible for the murder -- "I'm still a Patriots fan. [Aaron] was just one person."

Tim Tebow's Parents

We're Praying for Aaron Hernandez

4/17/2015 11:16 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Aaron Hernandez will be on the receiving end of some serious prayers from Tim Tebow's parents ... so says a rep for the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association

FYI -- Aaron and Tim were teammates at the University of Florida ... and Tim considered Aaron a good friend at the time. 

We spoke with a rep for the BTEA who tells us the Hernandez trial has been a hot topic at the association headquarters in Jacksonville ... and the decision was made to pray for Aaron's soul. 

"I can tell you that the situation has been mentioned by some people in the office the last few days and I know that Bob and Pam and the entire Tebow family haven't said much ... but they will absolutely be praying for Aaron Hernandez."

The rep continued, "We will actually dedicate a prayer to Hernandez on Tuesday."

The family of Odin Lloyd will also be a target for prayer -- with the rep saying, "We can be praying for [Hernandez] as well as all affected from the situation."

The rep added, "The Tebows are the real deal. They truly care about people and always want the best for everybody."

Aaron Hernandez

On Suicide Watch

... After Murder Conviction

4/16/2015 3:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Aaron Hernandez has been placed on suicide watch at the prison where he is temporarily being held ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

After Hernandez was convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd, he was transported to MCI Cedar Junction in Massachusetts ... where he will stay until he is transferred to his permanent prison. 

We're told he has been isolated from the general inmate population -- not only for his own protection (since he's a high profile inmate), but so officials can evaluate him ... and determine where he will stay at the prison. 

As far as the suicide watch goes, we're told it's not that uncommon for someone who just got sentenced to life behind bars. Unclear how long Aaron will stay on suicide watch.

Aaron Hernandez

Headed to Ultra-High Tech

Maximum Security Prison

4/15/2015 11:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0415-aaron-hernandez-fa-getty-01The prison that Aaron Hernandez will eventually call home is widely considered one of the most high-tech maximum security facilities in the country ... and maybe even the world ... TMZ Sports has learned.

We spoke with an official from the Massachusetts Dept. of Correction who tells us ... Hernandez will eventually end up at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Mass. 

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This place is insane (as far as prisons go) ... with 366 security cameras rolling 24/7 across 18 acres of land.

Officials say the computer system that operates just about every inch of the grounds is top-of -the- line stuff.

We're told the perimeter surveillance system includes taut wire and microwave detection systems ... and according to reports, no one has EVER successfully escaped from the prison. 

There's more ... according to reports, inmates must wear white sneakers to avoid gang colors. They're also allowed to display photos of family members -- but NO NAKED WOMEN are allowed to be displayed ... which might be an issue for A.H. considering his penchant for nude art

Before he ends up at SBCC, we're told Aaron will spend some time at MCI-Cedar Junction ... a transitional facility that's only a few miles from the stadium where the Patriots play. 

While there, we're told inmates are NOT allowed to have conjugal visits ... which sucks, but then again, maybe he shoulda thought about that before he killed Odin Lloyd.  

New England Patriots

Mum's the Word

on Aaron Hernandez

4/15/2015 9:09 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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The New England Patriots are continuing to distance themselves from ANYTHING connected to Aaron Hernandez -- which is why team officials tell us they will NOT be issuing a statement on Wednesday's murder conviction. 

It's an interesting P.R. move for the team -- considering owner Bob Kraft was called as a witness during the murder trial. Kraft testified that Hernandez told him he didn't kill Odin Lloyd. 

The team could have strongly condemned Hernandez -- and reiterated they knew nothing about what he was doing in his personal life during his time with the team. 

But instead, it seems they're using the "Voldemort" strategy -- preferring not to speak his name at all. 

Aaron Hernandez

He's a Disgrace to Our City

... Says Mayor of Bristol

4/15/2015 8:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Aaron Hernandez isn't just a murderer -- he's a stain on the city of Bristol ... so says the mayor. 

We spoke with Mayor Kenneth B. Cockayne ... who tells us the entire community is disgusted with Hernandez, who grew up in Bristol. 

"He was a role model for the kids and adults of Bristol -- and now the hearts of those children are crushed."

"We're sick of this case, and I'm glad it's over. It puts a bad light on our whole town. He shed a lot of bad light on all of us."

"Aaron Hernandez does not define this community."

Aaron Hernandez

GUILTY OF 1ST DEGREE MURDER

'Life In Prison'

4/15/2015 7:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Aaron Hernandez has just been found guilty of 1st degree murder in the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd ... and has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Several people inside the courtroom began crying as the verdict was read ... including Aaron's fiancee and mother. 

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As the verdict was read, Hernandez was shaking his head in disbelief.  At one point, Hernandez turned to his fiancee and mouthed the words, "Be strong."

25-year-old Hernandez -- a former superstar tight end for the New England Patriots -- killed Lloyd on June 17th, 2013.  Lloyd was shot 6 times. 

Aaron was also found guilty of illegal gun possession and illegal ammunition possession. 

After sentencing in the Lloyd case, Hernandez will still stand trial in the shooting deaths of two people in Boston in 2012.  That trial is scheduled to begin in May. 

update_graphic_red_bar8:47 AM PT -- Hernandez has been ordered to serve time at MCI Cedar Junction at Walpole -- which is just under 4 miles from the stadium where the Patriots play. 

8:39 AM PT -- Hernandez has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

8:18 AM PT -- Odin Lloyd's mother Ursula Ward is now addressing the court -- and explaining how Hernandez destroyed her life.  

"I felt like I wanted to go into that hole with my son."

"I miss my baby boy Odin so much. But I know I will see him again some day. At that gives me the strength to go on."

Odin's mother says she forgives the people who had a hand in her son's murder -- and asked for everyone else to forgive him as well. 

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