Extra Points: Idol hands could take down Patriots' Hernandez

Spending 12 years in catholic school helped end my flirtation with organized religion, but one sermon has always stuck with me: Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

It's a simple proverb that rings true. Most of us don't get in trouble when our minds are occupied. If you are ever sitting in rush hour traffic and contemplating why you rise and grind your way into the rat race every day, remember those simple words.

People who have nothing to do generally come off the rails at some point, whether it's drug or alcohol abuse, crime or some other addiction. Human beings need a purpose to carve out a positive existence.

That's why this could be the most dangerous time of year for NFL teams.

With offseason workouts completed for most clubs, players have about six weeks of free time until training camps open around the country. And coaches and general managers are holding their collective breath hoping a phone call doesn't come.

It could be a DUI like the one that foreshadowed Evan Rodriguez's exit in Chicago, an assault charge like the one Adam Jones is currently facing in Cincinnati or something as stupid as Jason Peters' recent arrest for drag racing and fleeing police.

For Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, it's something far more serious.

Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez finds himself smack dab in the middle of a homicide investigation involving the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a man described as an "associate" of Hernandez.

Massachusetts State Police were back at Hernandez's home in North Attleboro Wednesday morning, two days after a jogger found the body of Lloyd, who was reportedly shot in the head, in an industrial park near Hernandez's home.

A rental vehicle with Rhode Island plates was found near the scene of the crime and led investigators to Hernandez. Meanwhile, a neighbor of Odin's told WBZ they he had seen Hernandez in the neighborhood and that Odin dated the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.

State and local police had already spent hours at the Hernandez home on Tuesday night and were observed leaving with a box, presumably evidence. They also stopped two friends of Hernandez who were attempting to leave.

The Bristol County (Mass.) District Attorney's Office continues to refuse comment on the case, however.

The Patriots themselves also are remaining tight-lipped.

"I am aware of the reports, but I do not anticipate that we will be commenting publicly during an ongoing police investigation," Pats spokesman Stacey James said.

Hernandez, who is recovering from offseason a shoulder surgery, has teamed with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the top tight end duos in the NFL since being drafted out of Florida in 2010, amassing 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons.

Last summer, the Patriots rewarded Hernandez with a five-year contract extension worth up to $40 million, seemingly vindication for a player who fell to the fourth round in the draft due to a series of failed drug tests for marijuana at Florida.

News reports on site in North Attleboro have varied greatly with some claiming Hernandez has been cooperative and others saying he's been anything but. As of late Wednesday afternoon, WBZ is reporting Hernandez has not been ruled out as a suspect in the investigation.

The best-case scenario here is that Hernandez has been engaged in some kind of pitiable form of omerta, hoping to protect "friends" who don't deserve it. The worst case is so dark it involves a prison cell and memories of Rae Carruth.

Idol hands keep websites like TMZ and The Smoking Gun in business. They made ESPN's "Playmakers" possible and they might be about to take down one of the NFL's best tight ends.