Amid conflicting reports on the existence of a warrant for the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, one thing remains clear -- he is still a key person of interest in the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
Despite multiple reports to the contrary, a clerk in Attleboro (Mass.) District Court told USA TODAY Sports on Friday afternoon that no arrest warrant has been issued for Hernandez or anyone else in the case. Furthermore, the court offices closed for the weekend.
Earlier, several media outlets -- citing unnamed police officers and other authorities -- reported that an arrest warrant was issued on obstruction of justice charges based on the possible destruction of evidence in connection with the death of Lloyd.
Hernandez has been tied to the shooting death of Lloyd since the victim's body was found Monday afternoon in an industrial park a quarter-mile from Hernandez's North Attleborough, Mass., home. Hernandez was seen returning to his home at about 4:40 p.m. Friday in the same car with two lawyers, who left a few minutes later.
Seasoned crime reporters have theorized that local police and other authorities may have leaked incorrect information on the issuance of a warrant in an attempt to get Hernandez to be more cooperative.
A surveillance video reportedly shows that Hernandez was with Lloyd in North Attlelborough, Mass., hours before Lloyd was murdered. Those two and a couple of other men were seen leaving a Boston-area bar late Sunday night.
---Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to have a special ring made for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Last week, Kraft said that Putin pocketed his $25,000 Super Bowl XXXIX ring but a Putin spokesman countered that the ring was a gift.
"You know, I do not remember either Mr. Kraft or the ring," Putin told AFP. "They handed out some sorts of souvenirs. But if it is such a valuable thing to Mr. Kraft and his team, I have a proposal. "We will ask our enterprises to craft a really good, noticeable thing -- so it is clear that it is expensive, made of a good metal, with a rock -- so that this jewel is passed on from generation to generation in the team whose interests Mr. Kraft represents."
AFP reported that Putin made the comments "with a hint of a smile," implying that Putin was being sarcastic.
---Free agent linebacker Desmond Bishop told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday that he visited the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs.
He also said the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers are also interested in his services.
Bishop was released by the Green Bay Packers earlier this week.
Bishop said he is 100 percent after missing all of last year because of hamstring surgery.
---NBCSN will air 17 Canadian Football League games in 2013, the CFL announced.
NBCSN's CFL coverage begins next Thursday, when the Winnipeg BlueBombers host the Montreal Alouettes in the league's regular-season opener.