With Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard arrested on suspicion of DUI, all eyes are now on the Patriots for the team response.
Ordinarily, a team will issue a perfunctory statement that doesn’t state anything. With Dennard being arrested while the Aaron Hernandez drama is still unfolding, the Patriots’ response becomes far more noteworthy.
According to a team spokesman, the Patriots have no statement yet, but a comment likely will come later today.
Some, including ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, believe the Patriots should cut Dennard. For a first-offense DUI, that would be an extreme result, since it ordinarily doesn’t result in a league-imposed suspension.
Complicating matters for the Pats is Dennard’s pending probation for his conviction arising from assaulting a cop. Dennard could end up being unavailable not because of suspension but due to incarceration.
There’s one more important point to keep in mind here. Dennard apparently has been arrested for suspicion of DUI by a police officer in the same city where he was arrested for assaulting a police officer. In this case, it’s even more important to afford Dennard the presumption of innocence, since there’s a chance he really is innocent and that the current charges are trumped up/drummed up/whatever.
So he could be innocent. And if the Patriots cut him abruptly, he could end up being exonerated and playing for another team — like the Bills, Dolphins, or Jets.
Regardless of how this turns out, Dennard needs to take a page from the Rolando McClain “Avoid Decatur” playbook and stay out of Lincoln.
UPDATE 11:42 a.m. ET: Late Thursday morning, the Patriots released a statement.