Dennard found guilty of assualting officer, resisting arrest

994777.jpg

Dennard found guilty of assualting officer, resisting arrest

Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was found guilty Wednesday of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest in Lincoln, Nebraska last April 21.

Sentencing for the Patriots second-year corner will be April 11. He faces up to five years in prison for the Class III-A felony andor a fine of up to 10,000. An additional year in prison and 1,000 fine could be added for the misdemeanor resisting arrest charge.

There is no minimum sentence for the felony so Dennard could get off without jail time.

Lori Pilger of the Lincoln (Nebraska) Star Journal has been following the case. Her story detailing closing arguments and the start of jury deliberations can be found here.

Dennard already paid a significant monetary price for the arrest which came a week before the 2012 draft. Prior to his arrest, he was seen as a second or third-round pick.

The Patriots were able to draft him in the seventh round as the arrest led directly to his resultant slip.

Dennard's record prior to the arrest was clean and his coach at Nebraska, Bo Pelini, staked his reputation on Dennard's incident being out of character.

After the draft, Bill Belichick said, "We just don't feel that's who he is, or even how the account of the incident came out in some places, that's what happened. But we'll see. Bottom line is we were comfortable with him, and that if he did make a mistake like so many of us have, that he'll be able to represent our organization and our team the way we want it represented and we were comfortable taking him."

Dennard's agent, Brian Murphy, said Dennard's reaction was that things happen for a reason.

Meanwhile, Dennard's Twitter feed on Wednesday didn't read like that of a young man panicked about his future. In the hours leading up to the jury's verdict, he solicited votes on what video game system to purchase and shared his choice of music. After the verdict, he mentioned that he had to get a run in.

Details like that in the hands of a judge (whose sentencing will be followed closely by the local police union serving Lincoln, Nebraska) don't give the outward impression of a person taking the verdict with great seriousness. And impressions will matter.

Football-wise, Dennard's future is now a concern. He blossomed into a starter as a rookie and has a bright future on the field. His sentencing will come before the draft so the Patriots won't have to project whether they'll have his services in 2013 or not, they will know.

With Dennard in hot water and Aqib Talib a pending free agent, the Patriots have some thinking to do when it comes to their cornerback position.

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.