Not once, but twice. The New England Patriots is having their worst nightmare in this offseason. Defensive back Alfonzo Dennard was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Thursday in Lincoln. Just like Mr. Robert Kraft said Monday when talking about Hernandez’ arrest, “Everything we don’t want is happening.”
Oct 7, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (37) during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Police officers spotted a Honda straddling lane lines on Normal Boulevard about 2 a.m. CT and Dennard was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was taken to a detoxification center and is accused of refusing a chemical test and a driving infraction and then released as the news was first reported by The Omaha World-Herald. He has a court date on August 12.
This is certainly not good news for the Patriots, neither for Dennard as in April he was sentenced to two years of probation and 30 days in jail for assaulting a police officer in Lincoln which sentence was scheduled to begin on March 1, 2014. The NFL league has not yet addressed this issue since the incident happened before Dennard was drafted, but now this arrest paints a whole different picture.
It’s even more daunting as we wonder how the Patriots will handle Dennard’s situation. Stipulations that the Patriots could probably release Dennard are going ramped and if they in fact release him, Dennard would count $43,386 against the salary cap this season.
It’s uncertain whether the Patriots would go for a drastic measure as bad news just keeps pilling up and I would think that their level of tolerance is very thin at this time as Dennard is really asking for more than just another slap in the wrist. It’s a wait and see per Patriots communication on Twitter.
“We take this matter very seriously and are working to get more information on the incident.”
Whatever the decision will be, it’s a tough call between the lines of dictating a standard, analyzing his production and the competition he could play for. Dennard started seven of 10 games, totaling 37 tackles and three interceptions, including the one he returned 87 yards for a touchdown.
Minor infraction or severe criminal infraction – I don’t think it matters to the Patriots right now. Setting a uniform standard and its image is what’s at stake. I will be surprised with either decision they make.
Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook