The New England Patriots received a bit of a gift Monday when it was announced that cornerback Alfonzo Dennard would not have to appear in court today. The hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday, October 8. He will still have to appear in court on August 27 to see if his probation will be revoked after his recent DUI, but that process could take some time to play itself out.
With today’s court hearing being pushed back, it has bought the Patriots precious time to figure out how their cornerbacks will stack up across the league this year. The Patriots will be able to take a long look at guys like Ras-I Dowling and Logan Ryan as they are currently the backup cornerbacks to Dennard. The team will now have the luxury of playing a significant chunk of their games this season with their starting unit intact.
They will not have to worry about pending legal action until October at the earliest. Realistically, the legal process would be appealed, pushing any potential discipline even further down the road.
Dennard will probably not face discipline for his actions, at least by the NFL, until late into the season at the earliest following this announcement. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will wait for the legal process to play out before making a decision on Dennard. Discipline for Dennard may not even occur until next season, and if he is lucky, maybe not at all. Either way, this hearing being moved to October is a huge development for New England. If he goes to jail, the Patriots will have figured out their depth options by the time that were to take place, giving them some flexibility for the entirety of the 2013 season. Expect Dennard to line up opposite Aqib Talib for most, if not all, of 2013.
How do you feel about Dennard’s court hearing being pushed back to October? Do you feel better about the Patriots secondary now following this announcement? Does it not change anything in your mind? Feel free to comment on the development in the “comments” section below.