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Football: Former Centennial star Dodson faces NFL suspension

Bills rookie reached plea deal for misdemeanor disorderly conduct

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Former Centennial High School football standout Tyrel Dodson accepted a misdemeanor disorderly conduct plea deal for charges stemming from an alleged altercation in May with his girlfriend in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

The NFL announced on Thursday that Dodson, who went undrafted this season but was signed by the Buffalo Bills, has been suspended six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The day before, Dodson reached an agreement with prosecutors to defer a domestic violence charge of disorderly conduct-disruptive behavior-fighting, according to the Associated Press. 

Dodson didn’t comment on the ruling, but Buffalo General Manager Brandon Beane spoke to media following the NFL's announcement. Dodson was previously placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list until the case could be resolved after the Bills 27-23 win over Minnesota in the final preseason game at the end of August.

Beane said Dodson and his representatives likely decided to accept the plea deal “and move past” the incident rather than remain on the Commissioner’s Exempt list. He said the Bills organization connected with local authorities involved in the initial arrest on May 25 and found nothing credible that pointed toward domestic violence in their investigation.

“Those are serious charges we wouldn’t tolerate here,” Beane said to Buffalo media Thursday. “Every case has its own merit.”

TMZsports first reported the charges on May 30 saying Dodson was arrested and pulled out of a nightclub on the night of May 25 after the alleged altercation with his girlfriend. She alleged a physical confrontation in the initial report. Dodson denied the allegations and in the report even insinuated that he was the victim, per reports.

Dodson, who guided Centennial to its first state semifinal appearance as a senior and was a 2015 Tennessee Titan Mr. Football award winner, made his case known to land a roster spot at Buffalo despite the allegations.

“He was definitely in the mix as we closed down the roster … Tyrel did some nice things in camp as a football player,” Beane said. “We’ll see where we are in six weeks.”

In four preseason games, he made 19 tackles working as a special teams player and middle linebacker. Fifteen were solo stops.

In the 27-23 win against the Vikings, Dodson started and made nine solo tackles (11 total) and recorded a quarterback hit.

The Associated Press reported that Dodson has agreed to enter a diversion program and must also meet other conditions to have the charge cleared from his record. He is scheduled to have a restitution hearing in November and has a sentencing hearing set for Sept. 14, 2020.

Dodson will be eligible to play at the earliest the week of Oct. 28 after the Bills Monday home game against Philadelphia on Oct. 27 and after Buffalo’s Oct. 6 game in Nashville against the Titans.

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