According to initial reports, the New England Patriots have no intention of releasing Alfonzo Dennard in light of his arrest this past Thursday. They are prepared for a potential suspension that could come down on him from the NFL for violating player conduct policy, but unless something drastic happens over the next few weeks, expect Dennard to be a Patriot this year.
There was a lot of speculation surrounding what New England will do with Dennard, especially coming on the heels of the Aaron Hernandez saga. A fair number of media members seemed to think that the team had no choice but to cut him in order to further send a message that off-field distractions, in any capacity, simply won't be tolerated by this organization. However, I personally agree with their decision to keep him on the roster. Dennard may be an idiot, but based on the information available surrounding his recent arrest, there isn't really enough concrete evidence to justify cutting him. Dennard insists that he didn't fail any of the field sobriety tests he was given, he was not asked to take a blood test, and that he attempted to blow into a breathalyzer but was unable to generate an accurate reading.
I'm sure the Patriots haters are going to go crazy over this one, claiming hypocrisy and classlessness and all that nonsense (since getting a DUI and killing someone are clearly on the same level of egregiousness), but that's OK. I'm certainly not going to jump to his defense on this one, as there's absolutely no excuse for drinking and driving (especially when the NFL offers a free shuttle service for all players), but I'm also not going to immediately assume he's guilty, either. Based on what I've read, it seems that there isn't going to be enough evidence for any charges against Dennard to stick, which means the Patriots have no real reason to cut him.
A small bit of good news in what has been a less-than-sunny offseason.