Lance Kendricks’ homecoming hasn’t gone exactly as planned.
Kendricks was born and raised in Wisconsin and was an All-American tight end for the Badgers. After spending the first six years of his career with the Rams, Kendricks returned home in 2017 when he signed with the Packers.
But he was pulled over for speeding before his first game last season and was later cited for marijuana possession. On the field, he was relegated to a backup spot after being a starter his entire career.
On Wednesday, Kendricks received more bad news: The Outagamie County, Wisconsin, District Attorney’s Office is preparing criminal drug charges against him related to that marijuana incident, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported Wednesday.
There was no immediate word about the criminal charges to be filed.
Last week, prosecutors dismissed the marijuana citation, which carries a fine of up to $1,000, according to the report.
In dash cam video of Kendricks getting pulled over, one of the officers can be heard saying, “It smells like weed in here,” when referring to Kendricks’ vehicle.
Since this is a criminal charge and not simply a citation, Kendricks likely will face discipline from the NFL if convicted.
It’s been over a year since Kendricks was pulled over and 10 months since he was cited in December 2017, but it is not unusual for charges to be filed this long after an incident.
Packers receiver Geronimo Allison was arrested for marijuana possession in September 2016 but didn’t settle the case until April 2017. His charge was amended to an ordinance violation, and three months later the NFL suspended him for one game.
Yet another Packers player was pulled over for drug-related issues when running back Aaron Jones was arrested in October 2017. Jones didn’t have any marijuana in his vehicle, but he did admit to smoking it just hours before being arrested for speeding and driving without a valid license.
He was cited a month later and then suspended by the NFL in July for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Kendricks will be subject to punishment under the same policy, but it might not be until 2019 that the league disciplines him.
He will be a free agent then as he signed a two-year deal with Green Bay before the 2017 season. Kendricks would have to serve a suspension with whichever team signs him next season.
There’s no guarantee that Kendricks, as a 30-year-old backup, will be wanted by a team next season. The Packers brought in veterans Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis at the position this year so they clearly weren’t satisfied with the production they got from their tight ends last season. Kendricks had 18 receptions for 203 yards and one score in 2017.
Kendricks has appeared in all six games this season but has not received a start. He has seven receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown.
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