Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots have released tight end Aaron Hernandez less than two hours after his arrest following an investigation into a homicide near the player's home.
Hernandez was taken into custody by police Wednesday morning, led away from his home in handcuffs by authorities at about 8:45 a.m. ET.
The Patriots wasted little time in making their decision.
"A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss. Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation," the Patriots said in a statement. "We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do."
A charge against Hernandez was not immediately disclosed, but Massachusetts State Police said a charge would not be released until it is presented in court. He will be arraigned on Wednesday.
The arrest came nine days after the body of Odin Lloyd was found near Hernandez's home. Police were investigating Lloyd's death as a homicide and searched Hernandez's home a few times last week.
Hernandez had spent three seasons with the Patriots. He set career highs of 79 catches, 910 receiving yards and seven touchdowns during his Pro Bowl season of 2011, then played in just 10 games due to injuries last year and finished with 51 receptions for 483 yards with five touchdowns.