Despite offseason stint in jail, Kenrick Ellis won’t be suspended

AP

If an NFL player has to go to jail, it can’t work out much better than it worked out for Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis.

Although Ellis was given a 45-day sentence in June for a misdemeanor assault and battery conviction, he was allowed to serve only half the sentence this summer and wait until next March to serve the other half, meaning he wouldn’t have to miss any of the Jets’ training camp or Organized Team Activities. And now Ellis has learned that he won’t be suspended by the NFL, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Ellis entered an Alford plea to the assault and battery charge, which means he is still proclaiming his innocence but admitting that the prosecution has enough evidence to convince a jury of his guilt. The charges stem from a fight at Hampton University in 2010.

After initially facing a felony charge that could have resulted in 20 years in prison plus deportation (Ellis is not a U.S. citizen), Ellis was able to work out a deal that won’t affect his NFL career at all. He is being sued by the victim in the case.

The Jets took Ellis in the third round of last year’s NFL draft, and he played in five games and started two as a rookie.