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.