Ahmad Brooks soon could be hearing from the Santa Clara (Calif.) district attorney -- as well as from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell -- following an incident in which Brooks allegedly hit teammate Lamar Divens in the head with a beer bottle and punched him in the face outside Brooks' home.
Tracey Kaplan of the Mercury News reports that "prosecutors who routinely handle battery and assault cases submitted an application Thursday to Judge Sharon Chatman seeking an arrest warrant on a felony assault with great bodily injury charge," which carries a maximum sentence of four years in jail. However, according to Kaplan, Divens has wavered on his decision to press charges against Brooks for the tussle.
This is not Brooks' first off-field issue, either. He entered the league in 2006 via the the supplemental draft, after University of Virginia coach Al Groh kicked him off that team prior to Brooks' senior season. Brooks then spent two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, but prior to his third was accused of punching a woman in the eye. The Bengals waived Brooks prior to the 2008 season, allowing the 49ers to claim him.
Brooks has since become an instrumental part of the 49ers' defense. He has started every game in the past two seasons, recording 7.0 sacks in 2011 and 6.5 in 2012.
There's been no word yet from the 49ers as to whether they might punish Brooks for this alleged incident. The Detroit Lions barred WR Titus Young from offseason workouts last season after a similar occurrence -- Young reportedly punched teammate Louis Delmas at the team facility. Since the Brooks-Divens dust-up took place off team property, there may be less need for the 49ers to step in.
San Francisco also will be crossing its fingers that Brooks does not hear from the NFL. Brooks, who just signed a six-year contract extension worth $37 million in February of 2012, was not disciplined by the league for his 2008 altercation. He may be free and clear on this occasion, too, if no charges are pressed, though this is the last thing the league wants to deal with now as the black cloud of Aaron Hernandez's impending murder trial lingers.
However, should the case move forward, in addition to looking at possible jail time, Brooks could be in line for an NFL suspension. And that would be tough news for a 49ers team that opens the 2013 season by playing three consecutive playoff teams (Green Bay, at Seattle, Indianapolis). Already, San Francisco is dealing with the loss of leading receiver Michael Crabtree, who tore his Achilles a couple of months ago. At the very least, Brooks's situation appears tenuous for the moment, as he awaits word on a possible warrant for his arrest.