Alfonzo Dennard was absent from practice today, as he spent the day in court trying for a continuance on his previous sentencing. As we all know, Dennard was arrested for assaulting a Nebraska officer in April of 2012, which caused his draft stock to fall significantly and allowed the Patriots to steal him in the 7th round. Since then, he has been a solid contributor to the secondary and one of the better cornerbacks on the New England roster. Earlier this year, Dennard was esentenced to 24 months probation and 30 days in jail for his actions, a sentence he will begin serving this coming March.
Today, the judge denied Dennard's request for a continuance, as well as added another year to his probation along with an extra hundred hours of community service. In addition, a strict no-alcohol condition was added to the terms of his probation. The judge also added 30 days to Dennard's sentence, which will still commence in March. The extra punishment stems from a DUI charge that Dennard caught this past summer, which marked a clear violation of the terms of his probation.
With another soon-to-be-former Patriots player up on some slightly more significant charges earlier this year, Dennard's plight got somewhat swept under the rug as we all tried to figure out why one of our budding young stars decided to allegedly kill a guy. Regardless, there was a legit chance that Dennard was going to miss some actual time with these new charges, and so it's good to see that things still worked out relatively well. It would have been nice if Dennard had been granted his continuance, but the real positive is that Dennard's sentence, even if he serves it in full, still won't interfere with his ability to contribute to the Patriots next year; he will be released right around the time mini-camp starts and will be free and clear come the 2014 preseason. Furthermore, the judge motioned for a reduced sentence of 38 days with good time, so all in all this is a win.
Plus, seeing that he'll be in jail for much of the offseason, there's no chance he'll get himself into any more trouble. After an offseason like this last one, I wouldn't be upset to see all of the Patriots players locked in a building with nothing to do besides lift weights.