Alfonzo Dennard's extremely ill-timed arrest on suspicion of DUI leaves the New England Patriots in quite the predicament in the upcoming days and weeks.
The cornerback's arrest comes on the heels of the Aaron Hernandez murder charge, a situation that had owner Bob Kraft calling for change in how the Patriots dealt with player off-field activity. While the magnitude of Hernandez' alleged transgressions pointed to an obvious dismissal, Dennard's case is less clear.
Yes, this is his second arrest in 15 months and points to a troubled kid who needs to be let loose. On the other hand, assault and suspicion on DUI are far lesser charges than murder and Dennard was an important part of the squad, serving as one half of the starting cornerback duo that energized the Patriots in the second half of the 2012 season.
The topic of the Patriots' next move on Dennard came up on SportsNet Central.
Despite the trying circumstances around this case, CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran believed the best move for the team is to mull this decision before they act.
"I don't think the pressure is on the Patriots to act rashly in this situation, despite the fact the Patriots said they would audit all of their procedures with player behavior," Curran said. "They will just let the legal system play out here and make a determination at the end. Of course anything could come out of this, including charges being dropped, so you don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater."
Dennard infamously plummeted to the seventh round of last year's NFL draft, due to his being charged with assaulting a police officer just days before his selection was to occur.
This was, needless to say, a very troubling sign for the talented Cornhusker. Yet, Curran felt Dennard's actions after this incident pointed to a player who had learned his lesson and was ready to move on.
"This was a player who was available, friendly, took the position seriously, seemed contrite for what happened last year. Bill Belichick and Bo Pelini, his coach at Nebraska, both wrote letters recommending a lean sentence from the judge, which he really got. So, I am surprised at Alfonzo Dennard beginning in this situation."
As to the Patriots locker room as a whole, Curran said the sooner the team can talk to the players, the better.
"The [Patriots] want these guys back in house soon as possible," Curran said. "Until you have all of the guys in one theater or room where you can say to them enough is enough, everybody better be on their best behavior, they are going to look at their cellphones and e-mails in every morning, dreading what could be bad news."
Click on the link above to hear all of what Curran had to say.