Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots News: How long can we expect Alfonzo Dennard to be out?

New England Patriots fans received the news today that rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was convicted for assaulting a cop and resisting arrest by the jury, and that he could face up to six years in prison based on how the sentencing goes on the 11th of April. Dennard had an incredibly promising rookie season at the CB position, as he used his ability in press coverage and stuck to receivers like glue in man coverage to overcome his lack of height.

It’s scary to think that the Patriots could be without Alfonzo Dennard for up to six years, but that’s probably not going to happen. The maximum sentence rarely ever happens, especially since this was an isolated event of anger displayed by the young man. The ruling against Dennard was fair, although a long sentence would be far too harsh.

Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly told the Omaha World-Herald that Dennard will likely get somewhere between just probation or 180 days in prison. So Dennard could actually escape prison time entirely, with the most likely worst scenario being Dennard missing more than half of the 2013 season. The absolute worst-case scenario is six years in prison, but it doesn’t sound like that will happen.

These matters are unpredictable, but Kelly’s range seems reasonable. Even if Dennard does escape jail time, he could still be suspended by the NFL. I bet Roger Goodell will try to, but the incident transpired before Dennard was actually in the NFL so it is most likely out of the league’s jurisdiction. I’m not well-versed in the NFL rule book, but I believe that Dennard’s jail sentence (if he does indeed get one) will dictate how long he is out. I have a feeling he will be jailed, but it will fall within that 180-day window that Kelly suggested.

Dennard was officially convicted of a third-degree felony assault on a police officer and was hit with a misdemeanor for resisting arrest as well.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Alfonzo Dennard New England Patriots

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