San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks could face charges after he allegedly assaulted teammate Lamar Divens following an argument outside Brooks' house, Tracy Kaplan of the San Jose Mercury News reports.
According to the report, Brooks allegedly hit Divens in the head three times with a beer bottle before punching Divens in the face after argument over car keys. The Santa Clara District Attorney's Office is weighing whether or not to even charge Brooks with what could be either felony or misdemeanor assault charges in the June 8 incident that was witnessed by two unidentified 49ers teammates. Divens initially wanted to press charges, but has since changed his mind.
The 49ers released the following statement to CSN Bay Area:
"We are aware of the situation involving Ahmad Brooks. Out of respect for the legal process, the club will have no further comment at this time."
Brooks, 29, had several off-field issues that contributed to his dismissal from the University of Virginia following the 2005 season. Brooks was a supplemental draft choice by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2006 and played in 13 games over two seasons with that franchise before he was waived and claimed by the 49ers before the start of the 2008 season. Earlier in 2008, Brooks was accused of punching a Kentucky woman in the face after she tried to intervene before a fistfight between Brooks and one of her neighbors.
Over the last four seasons, Brooks has been a key member of the 49ers' pass rush, totaling 24.5 sacks during that period. Brooks became a full-time starter in 2011 and over the last 32 regular season games, he has totaled 96 tackles, 13.5 sacks and returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown.
On February 29, 2012, Brooks signed a six-year extension with the 49ers worth up to $44.5 million with $17.5 million in guaranteed money. Brooks was scheduled to earn $4.3 million in base salary in 2013, but "Shutdown Corner" reported in February that the linebacker had his salary decrease by $1.6 million because of his 2012 sacks production. Brooks could have voided the "de-escalator" clause in his contract if the 49ers appeared in the NFC championship game, won 12 games and Brooks played in 93.2 percent of the defensive snaps. The 49ers appeared in and won the 2012 NFC championship game, but Brooks came up short in the other two areas as the 49ers finished 11-4-1 during the 2012 regular season with Brooks appearing in 92.2 percent of the snaps.
Brooks has similar "de-escalators" throughout his contract. An arrest and possible suspension for violating the personal conduct policy would likely result in a decrease of what is slated to be a $5.15 million base salary in 2014. Brooks also can make a total of $750,000 in roster bonuses, which means he would forfeit $46,875 each time he is not active for a game.
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