NFL may not give Maualuga another pass

A judge dismissed an assault charge against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga on Thursday after learning the dispute was settled in mediation.

Maualuga might not get off as easy from the NFL, and he really shouldn't based on the league's history with repeat offenders. In February 2010, two years before this latest incident, he pleaded guilty to drunken driving but he successfully won his appeal of a one-game suspension.

Avoiding a suspension will be tougher this time and it doesn't matter that he avoided conviction. In fact, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Ben Roethlisberger two years ago when the Steelers quarterback wasn't arrested or charged with a crime.

For Maualuga, he was charged with misdemeanor assault after an employee at a downtown bar told police that the middle linebacker punched him in the face. The judge dismissed the case after neither Maualuga nor the bar employee wanted to pursue the matter. In the eyes of the law, this case never happened. The NFL, however, knows it did.