Patriots second-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has not had the best offseason, first earning a deferred 30-day jail sentence for assaulting a police officer and then getting arrested last Thursday in Lincoln, Neb., under suspicion of DUI.
But despite the two arrests, and despite the negative publicity generated recently by the Aaron Hernandez situation, the Patriots do not plan on cutting Dennard, a league source told the Globe.
The team is, however, prepared for Dennard to be suspended by the NFL under the player conduct policy. As a reference point, Lions cornerback Aaron Berry was suspended for three games in 2012 after getting arrested twice in the offseason. An NFL spokesman said only that Dennard’s case is “under review.”
The morning after his arrest, the Patriots said in a statement that they “are extremely disappointed to learn of Alfonzo Dennard’s arrest. We take this matter very seriously and are working to get more information on the incident.”
Dennard and his camp are disputing the facts of last week’s DUI arrest, claiming that Dennard blew into a breathalyzer twice and registered below the legal limit, and that he passed a field sobriety test. The police officer said Dennard didn’t blow hard enough into the tube.
He is on probation after his April conviction of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, stemming from an altercation on April 21, 2012, also in Lincoln. Dennard was allowed to wait until March 2014 to serve his 30-day jail sentence, but was also given two years probation.
Nebraska prosecutors are now moving to have Dennard’s probation revoked, and he is due in court on July 31, five days after the Patriots begin training camp,
Dennard, 23, started seven games last year as a rookie, finishing the season with 35 tackles, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a touchdown. Expected to start opposite Aqib Talib this year, Dennard is a talented player who fell to the seventh-round of last year’s draft because of his arrest.
Dennard also has a favorable contract – salary cap numbers of $494,462, $584,462 and $674,462 over the next three seasons.