October 30, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) jogs to the sidelines during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Browns 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers: What Should Be Done with Ahmad Brooks?

October 30, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) jogs to the sidelines during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Browns 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports, Ahmad Brooks struck his teammate, Lamar Divens in the head three times and punched him in the face after an argument about Brooks’ car keys.

This is an unfortunate situation, and Divens had to get stitches to close the wound from the incident. Lawrence Okoye and Michael Purcell, both undrafted rookie free agents signed by the 49ers, were said to have witnessed the events. All of this is according to reports.

The first thing that everyone needs to do is allow what actually happened to come to light. This is why I think the authorities intervened and withheld the charges. It seems as if Divens and Brooks will be able to work something out. At first, it was reported that Divens wanted to press chargers. Fortunately, Divens understands the damage that this can lead to for Brooks. He called a San Jose police officer and said that he wanted to drop the charges.

When asked, the officer talked a bit about the call, saying, “[Divens] said this would be bad for both of their careers and that he just wanted to keep playing and that they had resolved it.”

Brooks has been linked to two other incidents in the past. Neither of them led to any legal ramifications but the first event happened while he was in college and caused him to be dismissed from the University of Virginia’s football team. The other incident happened while he was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals waived him in their final cuts in 2008 and the 49ers picked him up a day later.

So to date, two incidents each caused Brooks to be removed from good situations. At this point, something has to click and keep Brooks from being involved in any more of this behavior.

What should be done with Ahmad Brooks?

First and foremost, Brooks needs to be ordered to attend anger management classes. This treatment needs to be handed down by the 49ers before Roger Goodell and the NFL offices dish out any punishment.

Jim Harbaugh needs to make it clear that this behavior will not be tolerated and can lead to Brooks losing out on the best opportunity of his professional career, playing for the 49ers. He is coming off of a very solid season in which he was selected as a second team All-Pro. He is going into the second year of a six-yea,r $37 million contract which guarantees $8.2 million.

This year is the last year in which there is any dead money in his contract. This means the 49ers can release Brooks without penalty once the 2013 season ends and before the June 1st deadline.

The 49ers drafted Corey Lemonier in the third round of this year’s draft. He is a player that is looked upon as being similar to Brooks in that he is a pass rusher. Rookies are locked in for four years at a very cap friendly number.

Even before the recent events, I felt that at some point in the near future, releasing Brooks would be something that the 49ers considered. They will have three really big contracts to get done in Michael Crabtree, Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

Brooks needs to do everything that he can both on and off the field to make the idea of releasing him in a cap-cutting move a difficult one for the 49ers’ front office.

Taking the initiative and seeking counseling would be a huge step in the right direction. The past events, along with this one, point to some kind of an anger management problem that needs to be addressed.

Divens has chosen to not press charges and as a result of that, the authorities should do the same.

That’s not to say that nothing needs to be done. The punishment needs to be dished out by the 49ers. The NFL may get involved and suspend Brooks but that remains to be seen. The commissioner may not take well to the idea that this is Brooks’ second run in with the law.

We shall see what the outcome is in the coming weeks.

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Tags: Ahmad Brooks San Francisco 49ers

  • loverpoint

    I hate these guaranteed contracts, if the league is going to have guaranteed contracts there needs to be an amendment that says that if the player commits a crime that the contract is null and void if the team wishes.


      There is nothing wrong with guaranteed money. Look at the NBA and MLB where these guys sign a fully guaranteed contract for so much more than NFL players yet their sport is nowhere near as taxing on the body.

      I will agree that contracts should have an opt out clause to void them if a player is convicted of a crime.

  • Matthew Scheer

    I’m sorry but you wouldn’t say you think it should be dropped if it was someone you loved. This is by definition assault with a deadly weapon, and thus he should be charged by the state with a felony. Anything less would be a travesty to the legal system. I wonder what you’d say if he were a division rival?


      Thanks for your comments. Actually, my statement about it being dropped by authorities is based upon the victim’s desire to drop it. If he is willing to drop it being as though it happened to him, I don’t see any reason to pursue anything. The statement would remain the same even if it were a division rival. I am not one to waver my opinion based off such frivolous reasons.

      • Matthew Scheer

        Here is the issue with that. At what point does forgiveness stop being a reason to drop a charge? If he killed him and the family forgave and asked for them to just drop it, do we release him from his punishment? Where do we draw the line? Another issue, if this were any regular joe it wouldn’t even be a question, the prosecutor would already have him in jail awaiting court. He isn’t in jail right now for the simple fact he is an NFL player….that is undeniable if you know even the smallest tidbits about law. Who knows what the underlying reasons are, but this isn’t his first violent outburst…at some point he has to learn a lesson

        • Jonathan Harrington

          I understand what you are saying, but he did not kill anyone. He beat on a young man he should have been mentoring, he set a poor example for some young players by taking them out and drinking to the point of not being able to drive, and he embarassed himself as well as the organization. That being said, I do not think he deserves to lose his career over it. Friends get into altercations, drunk or not, and when there is alcohol involved it can escalate. He deserves to be suspended for the first four games of the season, he needs to be told that part of his job is to mentor young players so they can contribute to the organization and become productive members of society, and he should be put on notice that the organization will move on should he demonstrate the immaturity, at 29 years old, that he displayed during this incident.


            Jonathan, thanks for your well thought out feedback. Excellent points.

          • Matthew Scheer

            We’re not talking about throwing punches here. We’re talking about a beer bottle multiple times to the head. You’re failing to see the point I’m trying to make. People can die from a simple punch, especially by an athlete. While I know it isn’t the norm, there’s the case of Ausar Walcott ex rookie Clevland Brown. Now add a bottle to the equation and its much more dangerous than a simple punch. What I’m trying to say is the end result of the attack shouldn’t decide the punishment, the attack itself should. Ausar Walcott punched a man, but unfortunately he hit him in the wrong spot and the man went into a coma. Ahmad Brooks hits a man 3 times with a bottle, however he was lucky and didn’t hit a critical area. The outcomes of these two incidents were all chance. But now Ausar Walcott is facing attempted murder charges for a much less frightening attack that ended, in a much more horrifying way. These two events are nearly similar, why should they be charged any differently?..what if Walcott’s victim didn’t press charges? Should his treatment be different? Does hearing that the man went into a coma change anything for you?…even though his attack was tame by comparison?


            I think you are severely stretching things. Yes the Walcott issue was assault also and as you said, it led to a more severe outcome for the victim. What you have to look at is the outcome. One resulted in stitches the other resulted in a coma. You are comparing two different situations. The concept of a “tame attack” that you bring up is laughable. Another flaw is that you seem to minimize the outcomes. Again, one resulted in a guy being in a coma and the other resulted in stitches. I don’t deal in what ifs, the fact is the Brooks incident had a less severe result than the Walcott one.


          Comparing this to a situation involving murder is a stretch. I know plenty about the law and there have been times when an ordinary joe was not charged right away. This happens numerous times in various domestic abuse cases. His not being jailed is not simply because he is in the NFL. That is another stretch. There is no denying that he needs to learn a lesson. As I said in the article, he has had two previous mishaps, one that is confirmed to be violent and both of them cost him a great opportunity. Hopefully, the threat of what this could have done to Brooks teaches him a lesson.