The Boston Globe has reported that Patriots corner Alfonzo Dennard is unlikely to be released from the team for his recent arrest in Nebraska on suspicion of DUI, his second arrest in 15 months.
Dennard’s offseason didn’t start in the best of ways, to say the least, when he was slapped with a deferred 30-day jail sentence and two years of probation for assaulting an officer, after he punched a police officer in Lincoln, Nebraska, prior to the NFL Draft last offseason, which led to him plummeting in the draft, and being delivered into the hands of Bill Belichick in the seventh round.
Now, Dennard could be facing more jail time after being arrested for suspicion of DUI, and could find himself earning a suspension from Roger Goodell, though Dennard’s camp is disputing the facts of last week’s arrest. They claim that Dennard not only blew under the legal limit twice in a breathalyzer test, but also passed a field sobriety test.
It isn’t entirely impossible that the police could have been abusing their powers a little in this situation either; after all, Dennard punched one of their friends only a little over a year ago. Dennard very well may have blown under the limit, but making the determination to arrest for suspicion of DUI is entirely up to the cop at hand.
Even if the police did abuse their power in the situation, as some in Dennard’s camp are claiming, Dennard should have known better than to go back to Nebraska for a while anyway, especially considering that he is still under probation.
Regardless, if Dennard receives a suspension from Goodell, the Patriots have no shortage of corners available to take his place.
The team re-signed Kyle Arrington in the offseason, though we all know how well Arrington does when he’s moved out of the slot job. More likely to take Dennard’s place is Ras-I Dowling, who looked in camp like he could be competing to take Dennard’s spot anyway. It also wouldn’t be unlikely, if Marquice Cole or any of the rookies perform well in training camp, for them to get the nod, though Dowling has the experience advantage over them.
Dennard is set to be in court on July 31st, only five days after the Patriots open training camp, which could also affect whether he starts for the Patriots in week one or not, whether he receives a suspension from Goodell or not.
With or without Dennard, the Patriots defense is still vastly improved from last year’s D, though Belichick would much prefer having Dennard’s experience on the field than the lack of experience from the rest of the corners, aside from Talib.