Inside this edition of “Football Nation Today,” Alex takes a look at the biggest stories around the NFL:

1st Down: The story that continues to dominate headlines, unfortunately, is the ongoing situation involving former Patriots tight-end Aaron Hernandez.  Over the past week, many have asked whether the Patriots should have vetted Hernandez better, and if they should change the way they operate following this event. 

Alex attempts to answer those questions, and says though the Patriots took a risk on Hernandez, it is impossible to project that a person will be arrested for murder. 

If the Patriots change the way they operate, they’ll be a worse football team.  To build a winning roster in the NFL, teams have to take risks on players with checkered legal histories.  If the Patriots begin to release players, or not acquire players because they’re standing on a moral high ground, they will not be as competitive as they are now.  Maybe that’s for the better, but Alex has his doubts that fans will be content rooting for a mediocre football team comprised of choirboys. 

2nd Down: The Denver Broncos are disciplining two team executives, Tom Heckert and Matt Russell, who were arrested for DUIs this summer.  On the surface, it seems to be an admirable decision, except for the fact that Heckert was charged with DUI in June.  The Broncos are acting now because Russell has been charged with DUI as well.

Former center and Denver media personality Tom Nolan called the Broncos “cowards” this week for not being proactive on this.  Alex says though Nolan is right, the precedent of suspending people who get arrested for DUI has now been set.  Should we care how the precedent is set?

3rd Down: In the “Big Up or Slow Down” segment, Alex talks about whether the Matthew Stafford contract extension is a good deal for the Lions, if Colin Kaepernick made a mistake wearing a Dolphins hat and if the Patriots will be vulnerable this year.

4th Down: In the “Reimer Rant,” Alex complains about this year’s “Hard Knocks,” as the Bengals will be profiled for the second time.  Who wants to see the Bengals?  Talk about a snooze fest.

Email Alex at, and follow him on Twitter @AlexReimer1.