Ahead of last week’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, reports broke that New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung had been indicted in New Hampshire on the charge of cocaine possession. The indictment, as was later confirmed by the Belknap County attorney’s office, was presented on August 8 with an arraignment hearing on the felony drug charge scheduled to take place on August 28.
That meeting has now been cancelled, as the Associated Press reported earlier today. According to the report, the reason for that is that Chung has waived his court appearance and his lawyer entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf. As a result of the plea, the 32-year-old is now scheduled for a court appearance on November 8 — an ideal time from his perspective, considering that the Patriots are on their bye week at that point.
Chung, who missed all of preseason so far because of a shoulder injury, is of course a core member of New England’s secondary. As such, the team will keep a close eye on the case — as will the NFL. Any potential league discipline is not expected to be brought forward until after the legal situation is resolved, however, according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin. And considering that Chung would be a first-time offender if found guilty, it would not be surprising to see the league take a comparatively lenient approach.
Of course, this is all just speculation at this point in time. What we do know is that the legal procedure will continue in November.