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Aaron Hernandez Patriots jersey exchange underway

New England Patriots fans looking to dump their Aaron Hernandez garb have a reason to get out of bed today.

The team on Saturday is allowing fans to freely swap any "#81 Hernandez" jerseys purchased from the Patriots' ProShop or online store for a different player's jersey of comparative value. The deal runs through Sunday at Gillette Stadium and through PatriotsProShop.com.

New England Patriots fans came out to Gillette Stadium on Saturday to participate in the Aaron Hernandez jersey exchange.
New England Patriots fans came out to Gillette Stadium on Saturday to participate in the Aaron Hernandez jersey exchange. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

"We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore," team spokesperson Stacey James said in a statement on Wednesday. "We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player's jersey will be well received by parents."

The exchange runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Chalk it up as a savvy move by the Pats, who are going out of their way to cleanse the market from reminders of Hernandez, the former tight end now accused of first-degree murder.

Strangely (or not so strangely, considering society), a secondary market has bubbled up for Hernandez garb. His jerseys recently have surfaced on eBay and commanded as much as $1,200.

UPDATE: The selection is limited. For the high-end "authentic" jerseys, the options only are Vince Wilfork, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

Here's a glimpse of the scene in Foxborough, Mass., courtesy of WBZ-TV.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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