New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sentenced on Thursday morning to 30 days in jail beginning on March 1, 2014 on charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest during an April 2012 incident, according to reports. Dennard will also get 24 months of probation for each charge to be served concurrently and 100 hours of community service.
The judge in the Lincoln, Neb. courtroom also said she would consider motions to change the terms of the probation, including possibly to suspend the jail time, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
The 23-year old faced a maximum of six years in prison stemming from the charges. As a result of his sentencing, Dennard will not miss any time during the NFL's season.
The incident took place in the days leading up to the 2012 NFL draft, dropping Dennard's stock significantly. He was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round, eventually becoming a starter for the team.
Dennard was apologetic during his court appearance. Both Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini wrote letters on Dennard’s behalf for the judge to consider.
Because of both the length and the start date of Dennard's jail time, he won't miss any games, training camp or organized offseason team activities; March is one of the quieter months of the NFL calendar. From a football perspective, that was very good news, as he became a starter during his rookie season and the team's secondary improved with both Dennard and Aqib Talib shoring up the cornerback position. While spending a month in jail is likely to impact his offseason conditioning, Dennard will have time to work his way back into shape upon his release.
As far as the cornerback position is concerned, despite the fact that Dennard's on-field availability is not affected, the team could still stand to add another impact player in the draft. The team was able to retain both Talib and Kyle Arrington this offseason, but cornerback is an area the Patriots have been working to improve in recent seasons.