Ya, I was only joking about the combined Bennifer-style name our two TE used to share. But Hernandez was a huge loss that gets discounted because it's irrelevant compared to what he did off the field, and so it feels petty to linger on it. But he was a fantastic player.Hernandez was pretty good. I mean, in his 2011 season he had 910 yards in only 14 games which works out to 1,040 over a full season. Henry and Jonnu combined for 1,061 receiving yards last year.
In 2011 specifically, Hernandez was the 3rd most productive TE in football, after Gronk and Jimmy Graham, despite missing two games and only being 22 years old. It's easy to forget how good he already was at an age when most guys (including Smith and Henry) were still in college. Hernandez played his last snap at age 23, and still has more career receptions, yards, and TDs than Smith (and he's not far behind Henry in the first two, still ahead on the TDs). Dude's playoff numbers in 3 seasons also pro-rate out to a 93/960/5 16-game season with 200 rushing yards thrown in for good measure.
It's a pretty amazing testament to the Patriots that they were able to continue rolling along and improve as a franchise despite losing a guy like that from their team. He had signed a 5-year extension, so he and Gronk were going to be around for a while too. Just too bad he was a psychopath.
Edit: Apparently I spent too much time looking things up, I'm now part of a chorus.