Patriots Release Hernandez as Franchise Looks to Distance Itself From Murder Case

Aaron Hernandez was released by the New England Patriots on Wednesday morning shortly after the tight end was arrested at his North Attleborough, Mass. Home.

Reports indicate that Hernandez is expected to be arraigned on undisclosed charges later today in connection with the ongoing investigation of the murder of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found close to Hernandez's home.

The body of Lloyd, 27, was found June 17 in the woods near Hernandez's home. The death was ruled a homicide and Hernandez has not been named as a suspect in the case.

It was not immediately clear why Hernandez was being taken into custody, but police have visited the house several times in the past week.

Hernandez was seen partying with Lloyd at a Boston nightclub on Friday night; police reviewed the surveillance video from the club in order to put together a timeline of Lloyd's last days and hours. He was found dead, shot in the back of the head, around 5:30 p.m. Monday by a jogger. Police believe he was killed between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. that morning.

The Patriots released a statement following their decision release Hernandez:

"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. 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."

At least 10 police cars surrounded the home during the initial search, according to Sports Illustrated. Two men, who were at Hernandez's home before the search began, attempted to leave the premises but were escorted away individually by police instead. Hernandez remained in the home during the search.