It’s been a tough offseason for the NFL that is now on the verge of having 40 separate arrests of current players or team executives.
This morning, New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested early Thursday morning in Lincoln, Nebraska on suspicion of driving under the influence charges.
According to the report, Dennard was pulled over after his vehicle was observed by police to be straddling a lane line. Dennard then refused to take a blood-alcohol test and was taken into custody.
In April, Denard was sentenced to two years of probation and 30 days in jail, a sentence that was slated to begin on March 1, 2014, after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer outside a Nebraska bar a week prior to the 2013 NFL Draft. That caused Dennard to go from a 2nd-3rd rounder, all the way to the seventh-round. Expect to see him suspended by the NFL for a significant portion of the 2013 NFL season, and with all of the negative publicity the Pats have gotten in light of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, don’t be shocked to see him cut.
Offseason arrests in the NFL haven’t been limited to just players, as Tom Heckert, the Denver Broncos’ director of pro personnel, was arrested on June 11th and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving. Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell apologized for his arrest over the weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Hopefully, the NFL, Broncos and Patriots act swiftly in properly discipling those involved to send a message to players and personnel that they are not above the law. It’s starting to look as though that’s what they believe, as this is the most NFL-related arrests in a single offseason in over a decade.
The NFL has also seen a 75 percent increase in player arrests this offseason from last year. The arrest rate had declined from 32 arrests during the 2006 offseason to 20 in 2012.