This Sept. 5, 2012 file photo shows New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez speaking to reporters in the locker room at Gillette Stadium in
This Sept. 5, 2012 file photo shows New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez speaking to reporters in the locker room at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. (Associated Press file)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots say they've released tight end Aaron Hernandez "following his arrest in the investigation of a homicide" last week in nearby North Attleboro.

The Patriots issued a statement Wednesday saying: "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."

The move came a few hours after Hernandez was taken from his home in handcuffs. He was taken into custody more than a week after a Boston semi-pro football player was found dead in an industrial park a mile from Hernandez's house.

Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17. Officials ruled the death a homicide but did not say how Lloyd died.