Bill Belichick looks like he is slowly losing control of the New England Patriots locker room, and by the time he gets it back the team may not be a contender. As if the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation wasn’t enough of a distraction, starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has now been arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence.
The Omaha World-Herald first reported that Dennard was arrested early Thursday morning in Lincoln, Neb. Officers say they spotted the 24-year-old’s Honda straddling the lane line at about 2 a.m. and pulled him over. He refused a chemical test and was booked on suspicion of DUI.
To make matters worse for Dennard and the Patriots, he has already had legal trouble over the past year. He is scheduled to serve a 30-day jail sentence beginning on March 1, 2014 after being convicted of felony assault on a police officer in an April 2012 incident. A judge allowed him to delay his jail time to avoid interfering with his NFL career.
When Dennard was sentenced, his former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and Belichick both wrote “character letters” in support of him. Score another one for Belichick and his obsession with athletes who come with baggage.
So what will the Patriots do? They’ll probably release him, of course. That’s what Belichick does when a player violates his trust after he gives him a second chance. The problem is it’s July, and Dennard was scheduled to open the season as New England’s No. 2 cornerback behind Aqib Talib (another player with a checkered past). Now, a team that has desperately tried to stabilize it’s secondary over the past several seasons could be right back to where it started.
Don’t look now, but the Patriots are starting to look like the Cincinnati Bengals.