Goodell watching developments with Aaron Hernandez case

Associated Press photo by Mark StockwellMassachusetts State Police dig for evidence Thursday at an industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass., where the body of Odin Lloyd was found earlier this week. New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had a connection to Lloyd, but family and officials were mum on the nature of their relationship Thursday, two days after police visited Hernandez' home.
Associated Press photo by Mark StockwellMassachusetts State Police dig for evidence Thursday at an industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass., where the body of Odin Lloyd was found earlier this week. New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had a connection to Lloyd, but family and officials were mum on the nature of their relationship Thursday, two days after police visited Hernandez' home.

NEW YORK — Roger Goodell is doing what any commissioner or president of a sports league would when one of his players is being investigated in a criminal case.

He’s waiting for the legal process to take its course.

No charges have been filed in what has been termed by Massachusetts authorities as a homicide in the death of a man connected to New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Police have searched Hernandez’s house and the area around it after 27-year-old semi-pro player Odin Lloyd was found dead in an industrial park near the Patriot’s North Attleborough home.

Hernandez also was sued Wednesday in Florida by a man claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club in February.

As he has done in recent cases, be they high profile — Michael Vick and his dogfighting, for example — or less publicized, Goodell is sitting tight. Innocent before proven guilty.

Should Hernandez be arrested — no charges have been brought in either case — Goodell could punish him under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

But he generally prefers to await the outcome of all legal proceedings.

When Vick admitted to financing a dogfighting operation, Goodell suspended him indefinitely in August 2007. Vick served 18 months in a federal penitentiary, and was reinstated in 2009 when Goodell said the quarterback had shown remorse for his actions.

Vick has stayed out of trouble since and has played for the Philadelphia Eagles the past four years.

Goodell suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones for the 2007 season under the personal conduct policy after Jones was arrested multiple times. A 2005 first-round draft pick by the Titans who now is with Cincinnati, Jones has been in and out of legal trouble, with at least seven arrests over the years and involvement in about a dozen incidents that included police intervention.

He recently pleaded not guilty to an assault charge after police say he hit a woman at a nightclub.

Cowboys sign 2nd-rounder

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have signed tight end Gavin Escobar, their second-round draft pick.

With Escobar’s deal Friday, the only of the team’s seven draft picks unsigned is Travis Frederick. The Wisconsin center was selected 31st overall.

Escobar, the 47th overall pick in April, played 39 career games for San Diego State. He had 122 catches for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns in college, with 42 catches for 543 yards and six TDs last season.

Putin talking trade

MOSCOW — Facing what he drolly called a “complicated international problem,” Vladimir Putin said he’s ready to give the New England Patriots’ owner custom jewelry to compensate for the Super Bowl ring that some imply the Russian president pocketed.

The Super Bowl ring changed hands in 2005 when Robert Kraft was visiting Putin with a business delegation. At the time, he said he gave it as a gift, but last week he was quoted by the New York Post as saying Putin just took it.

Putin said at an economic forum Friday he didn’t remember Kraft or the ring. But “if it is so valuable to him,” Putin would order a piece of jewelry of precious metal and stones be made for Kraft.