New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung agreed to a plea deal in New Hampshire to get his drug possession charges conditionally dropped.
Even as one member of the New England Patriots offense runs afoul of the law, another member of the team – this time on defense – appears to be putting his legal troubles firmly in the rearview mirror.
Less than 48 hours after wide receiver Julian Edelman was arrested in Beverly Hills and cited for misdemeanor vandalism after jumping onto the hood of a car, safety Patrick Chung reached a plea deal with prosecutors in Belknap County, New Hampshire, to resolve drug charges stemming from an arrest last August.
Per Bleacher Report’s Rob Goldberg, Chung “will have to perform 40 hours of community service, submit to periodic drug testing, and remain in good behavior for two years with no felonies or misdemeanors in order to fulfill the terms of the agreement.”
Just a month out from the start of the 2019 regular season, news broke that Chung had been arrested for cocaine possession in his Meredith, New Hampshire home earlier that summer. Chung pled not guilty, but the case was notable for several reasons…
First, cocaine possession in the state of New Hampshire carries “a maximum penalty of three-and-a-half years as a Class B felony,” per Goldberg. On top of that, there was also rampant speculation around the media that perhaps the Patriots would either cut ties with or at the very least suspend Chung because of the incident, on the grounds that he violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
New England chose not to address the situation, and head coach Bill Belichick repeatedly redirected any attempts by reporters to ask him about Chung’s playing status leading up to the season opener in September.
As it turned out, Chung was not suspended for any games this past season. He played (and started) in all games that he was healthy enough to suit up for and take the field.
An 11-year veteran out of the University of Oregon, Chung has spent the majority of his professional career playing under Belichick in New England. He was originally a second round draft pick of the Patriots back in 2009, with whom he played for four years before spending one year with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.
After the Eagles released him in 2014, Chung re-upped with the Patriots for a second stint. He has been a fixture in the New England secondary ever since, playing alongside other stalwart defenders like Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon.