FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez expressed optimism in recorded phone calls from prison just hours before he was found dead in his cell.

Medical examiners determined Hernandez — who was found hanging from a bedsheet in April 2017 — had taken his own life.

Yet the phone calls — excerpted in the video above — revealed an upbeat Hernandez, although they were heavily redacted and only gave his side of the conversations.

The recordings were made public following a lengthy public-records battle waged by The Boston Globe and WBUR in Boston.

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