In 2006, The Football Player Formerly Known As Chad Johnson pulled a Ron Artest and informed the world he’d prefer to be referred to as “Ocho Cinco,” which is how you say “85” (his jersey number) in Spanish if you don’t know how to speak Spanish.
After trying (and failing) to get the NFL to let him put his new moniker on the back of his uniform, he decided to legally change his name two years later and was finally allowed give the back of his jersey the He Hate Me treatment.
The name change occurred in the midst of his ten-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, which made things a little difficult when he was traded to the Patriots ahead of the 2011 season
The problem? One player already had a claim to the number 85: Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez agreed to give up his number for $50,000, which is a small price to pay when it comes to promoting your personal brand.
However, things worked out especially well for Hernandez, who decided to invest the money in a business venture that resulted in a $70,000 return. There was only one small catch: the investment in question was a massive drug deal.
Earlier this year, Jose Baez, the lawyer who unsuccessfully defended Hernandez in his murder trial, announced he’d be releasing a book documenting the criminal proceedings and the many bizarre events that followed.
Now, Yahoo Sports reports Baez also gave some insight into the events following the jersey transaction. He says the Patriots’ rookie contract wasn’t enough to cover the lifestyle he wanted to live, which forced Hernandez to turn to more untraditional (and illegal) forms of income:
“Aaron figured Ocho Cinco might want to wear number 85 with the Patriots so he approached Ocho Cinco and offered to sell him the number for $75,000. Mr. Cinco balked at the price and countered with $50,000.
Aaron accepted, gave him the number, and went back to the number 81 he had in college. Aaron took the money and floated it to his cousin’s husband, T.L. Singleton, who gave Aaron back $120,000.”
Ochocinco responded to the news in a tweet, saying:
I thought the Aaron Hernandez case couldn’t get any weirder but I guess I was very wrong.
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