49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks now not likely to face suspension
The San Francisco 49ers appear to have dodged a major bullet with the news that starting linebacker Ahmad Brooks will not face possible assault charges — that means it’s less likely that Brooks will face a possible suspension from the NFL.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has decided not to pursue the case against Brooks, stemming from an June 8 incident in which he allegedly assaulted 49ers teammate Lamar Divens. Assistant district attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery wrote in the dismissal memo that, among other things, Divens could be trying to financially gain from the incident and that Brooks “has a viable self-defense assertion” because of a previously unreported run-in. Divens, who is 64 pounds heavier, had shoved Brooks at a party about a month before, causing him to fall down and cut his leg slightly.
Sinunu-Towery revealed in the dismissal memo that Divens asked Brooks two days after the incident to pay him $1 million. That request was denied. Divens told the DA’s investigator on July 16 — more than one month later — that he didn’t want to press charges, but he still wanted Brooks to pay him $1 million.
However, Sinunu-Towery said in her memo, while “I do not condone the behavior of Brooks,” an assault charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to 12 jurors.”
Brooks was dismissed from the University of Virginia’s football team after numerous off-the-field issues, but he hadn’t run into any problems during his eight-year NFL career. Brooks signed a six-year, $37 million contract extension with the 49ers last year.
The 29-year-old Brooks, a seven-year NFL veteran, started every regular-season game last season for the NFC champion Niners, who lost to Baltimore 34-31 in the Super Bowl. Brooks had 46 tackles, 6.5 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles in his fifth season with San Francisco.
The NFL has been embarrassed by all the arrests this offseason, so certainly Brooks was likely to have to sit a few games if this went to trial or he agreed to a plea bargain. Now it would seem like Brooks would be off the hook. However, the league’s personal conduct policy does not require a conviction to institute discipline, as we’ve seen several times in the past.
The 49ers open the season at home against Green Bay, a team San Francisco beat twice a year ago. The Niners opened as 5-point favorites on WagerWeb.