The price for slugging a cop outside of a nightclub in Lincoln, Nebraska is 30 days in the poke.
New England Patriots’ cornerback Alfonzo Dennard discovered this as a Judge read his sentence to a packed courtroom in Lincoln on Thursday.
The Judge also tacked on 2 years probation and a fine but, in an act of judgely benevolence, delayed execution of his sentence until March of 2014, allowing Dennard to take part in all of the Patriots’ offseason conditioning programs in preparation for the 2013 NFL season…
…also stating that she would be willing to hear motions to change the conditions of his probation and to possibly suspend his jail term.
So…what does this all mean? Quite simply it means that Alfonzo Dennard has just officially been handed the title of the Steal of the Draft for 2012.
Every team in the NFL treated Dennard like a leper after he allegedly assaulted a Police Officer just days before the NFL draft – his draft stock going from a projected 2nd round selection to untouchable in the blink of an eye.
Even the Patriots passed him over several times, but always having him on the radar. It has never been made clear whether the Patriots had designs on drafting the former Cornhusker if he was still around in the 7th round or whether they would sign him to a free agent contract but ultimately decided to draft him when others started to have the same idea, but the outcome would have been the same regardless.
And now Dennard and Aqib Talib can form the steadiest tandem of young cornerbacks that Bill Belichick has had in his tenure as coach of the Patriots and, surrounded by talented players in every position, help to comprise a championship quality defense.
But there is still the matter of Commissioner Goodell and his legal cronies feeling obligated to review the case, but seeing as Dennard was not in any way connected to the NFL at the time of the incident, they have no providence in the matter, a point that Player’s Union representative DeMaurice Smith and the union’s lawyers will be sure to point out to the commissioner.
So Alfonzo Dennard may eventually escape any punishment at all other than probation and a fine – not really the precedence that the law wants to set for punching cops, but at least this Judge recognized the inconsistencies in the officers’ statements and the fact that the officer approached Dennard from behind in plain clothes while Dennard was engaged in a tussle with another man…
…which is why he got Rudy Tomjanovich’d by Dennard – doesn’t make it right or cool, just lends doubt to whether it was a purposeful act or not, and it certainly should have taught the officer a lesson, one which he probably should have known anyway: If you come running up behind someone who is already mixing it up with another guy, then you get what you get.
The cop got a boo-boo. Dennard got 30 days – maybe.
Sounds about right.