Patriots keep starting cornerbacks intact

The New England Patriots and starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard got some closure Thursday. A Nebraska judge ruled that Dennard must serve 30 days in jail and probation for charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer in 2012. He reportedly will serve his jail sentence beginning March 1, 2014.

This means Dennard will be able to play in the NFL for New England this upcoming season. He was facing up to six years in prison for the incident.

Dennard, a 2012 seventh-round draft pick, developed into a starter during the second half of last season. He played well and recorded 35 tackles and three interceptions.

He paired with fellow starting cornerback Aqib Talib to improve New England's secondary. The Patriots re-signed Talib in free agency, and with Dennard's legal situation resolved, the team will keep both starters intact for 2013. New England also added former Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson to what should be an improved secondary.

It's unknown if the NFL will provide its own justice in the form of a suspension. Dennard's off-the-field incident happened shortly before the cornerback was drafted, which makes it a difficult case to predict.

But the main thing is Dennard's legal woes with the Nebraska court system are now behind him. He can play for the Patriots this season, serve his 30 days next year and move on.