The New England Patriots seventh round, 224th overall pick of the 2012 NLF Draft, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard’s sentencing for his conviction of felony assault on February 20, 2013, came in today. The Lincoln, Nebraska court Judge Stephanie Stacy sentenced Dennard to two years probation on each charge to be served concurrently and 30 days of jail time starting on March 1, 2014 was first reported by Boston Globe Shalise Manza Young. Part of the punishment also requires 100 hours of community service related to “law enforcement”.
It was also reported that coach Bill Belichick and Nebraska coach Bo Pellini both wrote letters of support to Judge Stacy on Dennard’s behalf. It’s hard not to think that those letters did not have any weigh on the results of today’s sentencing. A great relieve in this whole situation is that Dennard will not have to miss any game in the 2013 season or even in the 2014 season. In regards to this entire situation, I don’t think Dennard got any “bad news” pertaining to this sentence. He will be spending 30 days in jail, which he already served 3 days, giving that he was facing up to six years in prison that’s a pretty good deal.
Now with Dennard’s court-related situation behind (at least not conflicting with football schedule) the Patriots football operations office can focus on reshaping and strengthening our core secondary. Although we have Dennard back in the field, along with Kyle Arrington, Marquice Cole, Ras-I Dowling, and Aqib Talib, it’s still wise and needed to draft a top cornerback on April 25th. Talib only got a $5 million one-year deal and this is the time to invest on his replacement for the 2014 season should he not bring the production the defense needs.
While his stock depreciated greatly during the 2012 NFL Draft due to the incident, Bill Belichick took his chances by drafting Dennard on the seventh round at number 224. Today’s sentencing has answered whether Belichick’s gamble has paid off. Ending the 2013 season with three interceptions, seven defended passes and 35 tackles, it also helps reassure we got the better set of cards.
Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook