“If his brain comes back with CTE, this would push the NFL into a place they never thought they would get to.”

With the details of Aaron Hernandez’s jail cell suicide still saturating the news, Jason Smith thinks the next big storyline in the calamitous downfall of the former football star is going to be the examination of Hernandez’s brain, which will be donated for research his family says.

If Hernandez’s brain is deemed to have been afflicted by CTE, Smith says the NFL will come face to face with a reality that will ultimately doom the sport.

Smith says if CTE is the culprit, which would directly link head injuries to a triple-murder, the NFL would be absorbing more backlash than it ever had before with concussions, with anti-NFL groups now able to put a face to their campaign with Hernandez: a young man who had it all, only to have it come crashing down in a heinous spectacle.

Smith thinks football as we know it will cease to exist.

“The helmets will change right away, the padding will change, the blocking and tackling techniques will change; the NFL will become unrecognizable from what it is.”

Future participation in the NFL will plummet, Smith believes, and says involvement in the sport will be comparable to that of the military, as life choices for people who feel they have no other options.

“The only people who would play football now would be kids who feel like they don’t have choices,” he said. “All those kids who are athletically talented will play baseball, they’ll play basketball, they’ll play soccer; there will be an even bigger rush of parents saying ‘you’re not playing football.’”