Titans' Howard pleads no contest

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- David Howard, a defensive lineman drafted in the spring by the Tennessee Titans, has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge in Rhode Island.

Howard, who played at Brown University in Providence, was accused in April 2009 of punching and kicking a customer at a bar where he was working as a bouncer. He entered the plea Monday to a charge of simple assault.

Howard's lawyer, Mark Smith, said Tuesday that the plea does not constitute a conviction and that the charge will be expunged from Howard's record if he stays out of trouble for a year.

Smith says Howard wanted to get the case behind him and move on with his life.

The Titans selected Howard in the seventh round.