Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been charged with murder.
Hernandez, who was released by the Patriots hours after his arrest, had been pictured being led away by police at his home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
The body of Odin Lloyd, 27, was found about a mile away from his house on June 17 and his death was ruled a homicide.
Authorities have searched his home, on the Rhode Island line not far from the Patriots' stadium, several times over the past week.
But the Patriots reacted quickly to news of the player they drafted in 2010, releasing a statement saying he had been cut just 90 minutes after his arrest.
"The New England Patriots have announced the release of tight end Aaron Hernandez following his arrest in the investigation of a homicide last week in North Attleboro, Mass," read a statement on the team website.
"A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss.
"Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation.
"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."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement on nfl.com: "The involvement of an NFL player in a case of this nature is deeply troubling.
"The Patriots have released Aaron Hernandez, who will have his day in court. At the same time, we should not forget the young man who was the victim in this case and take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to Odin Lloyd's family and friends."