The news isn't good for both the promising cornerback and the New England Patriots as Alfonzo Dennard was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and for resisting arrest in a Lancaster County District Court on Wednesday afternoon. Dennard was found not guilty in the assault of Lincoln, Ne. man Ben Samani.
Dennard is on the receiving end of the worst possible scenario as being found guilty of either of the two misdemeanor charges (resisting arrest and assaulting Samani) could have netted Dennard some possible fines and community service. Instead, Dennard was hit with a felony in the form of assaulting a police officer which carries a maximum of five years in prison.
According to the Omaha World-Herald:
Prosecutors said after the verdict was read that they were not recommending a sentence, but that typical sentences for a crime like this would range from probation to 180 days in jail. The sentencing hearing is set for April 11.
While Dennard's career in the NFL might not necessarily be over, his immediate future is certainly unknown. The Patriots and Dennard won't know his fate until a small handful of weeks before the 2013 NFL Draft. The Patriots knew the risk they were taking when they took Dennard in the seventh round, but it's hard to believe the team foresaw this type of outcome befalling the young talent. There's also the question involving any punishment the National Football League itself feels the need to dole out; Dennard's fisticuffs took place well before he suited up in a Patriots uniform, but Roger Goodell may feel pressured to make an example out of Dennard for future prospects to heed.
For Patriots fans, this comes at a frustratingly unbelievable time. For the first time in so many drafts, the Patriots seemed to have finally plucked a cornerback who had all the makings of being a star. After so many misses at the position, it was a breath of fresh air to see a seventh-rounder in the secondary literally play his way into a starting role on the Patriot defense. While cornerback seemed to be a less pressing need this offseason than in recent ones, it suddenly rises to the top of the list as his rising stardom is put on ice indefinitely,