In story excerpts from "The Gangster in the Huddle" published online Wednesday at rollingstone.com, Hernandez was portrayed as a frequent user of PCP (angel dust) who carried a gun wherever he went and often was surrounded by gangsters. Hernandez, 23, is in a Massachusetts prison while facing a first-degree murder charge in the June 17 death of former semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
According to the Rolling Stone piece, Hernandez, who is from Bristol, missed practices, angering Belichick and leaving the tight end close to being cut from the team.
The story also revealed his parents, Dennis and Terri, and other family members had criminal records and that Hernandez had cut off relationships with family and teammates. Terri allegedly cheated on her husband with Jeffrey Cummings, a violent drug dealer, and after Terri's husband died, Cummings moved into the house she shared with Aaron.
The article also alleges that Hernandez's coach at the University of Florida, current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, might have assisted in covering up failed drug tests, an assault and a drive-by shootout.
The story broke one day after the NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Patriots on Hernandez's behalf, attempting to collect $82,000 in workout bonuses from Hernandez's terminated contract. Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension in 2012.
Hernandez hung out with such a rough crowd that he flew to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February to let Belichick know that he feared that the people he hung out with would kill him, according to the story. Belichick reportedly told him that he should distance himself from that group and avoid more trouble or risk being cut from the team.
Hernandez responded by renting an apartment away from his mansion in an attempt to escape their influence. He began carrying a rifle in his gym back and had an extensive surveillance system installed at his mansion.
"He was very paranoid, but was that because of his addictions or because he was trying to leave the gang?," the source told Rolling Stone.
Partying was a big part of Hernandez's life, friends told the magazine. He often smoked marijuana after games, they said, and he missed rehab workouts in the spring while in California.
Friends described Hernandez as becoming paranoid because of the drugs and the emotional toll of losing his father.
"Don't matter what it's about: Aaron's out of his mind," a friend of the family said, according to Rolling Stone. "He's been twisted on dust now for more than a year, which is when all of this crazy s--- started."
Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 6 in Fall River (Mass.) Superior Court on a first-degree murder charge. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail at a county jail.