Last week he was acquitted of a drive-by double murder prosecutors said began over an argument about a spilled drink. (Hernandez had been accused of the fatal shooting of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in 2012, one month before he signed a $40m (£32m) contract extension with the Patriots.) An autopsy will be performed in Boston to determine the “cause and manner of death”, according to a statement released by Worcester County DA Joseph Early. “The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death,” Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez wrote in a statement. It was known that Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Hernandez, who grew up in Bristol, Conn, played with the Patriots from 2010-2012.