Former Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins must have hired himself a pretty good lawyer, because the DUI charge that effectively ended his career in Tampa Bay last September has been wiped away.
According to TMZ, “ASJ,” as he was lovingly referred to during his stint with the Bucs, somehow got the charge reduced to reckless driving so he won’t be spending any time in jail as a result of this offense.
According to the terms of his plea deal, however, he will have to perform 50 hours of community service, attend a DUI school and pay a $500 fine. He’s also going to be on probation for the next 12 months.
Of course, ASJ was clearly on some kind of double-secret probation with the Bucs, who put up with his antics for a couple of years but finally cut him just days after he was arrested on the DUI charge.
Looking back, that was a decision that had to be made, but there’s no question that it helped turn what was once one of the deepest positions on the Bucs roster into one of the shallower positions on the team.
Sure, the Bucs have Cameron Brate, who is clearly one of the league’s best young tight ends, but the talent level drops off significantly after that to the point where some consider tight end a position of need.
Let’s face it, there’s a reason draftniks are starting to suggest the Bucs spend their first pick in the 2017 Draft on Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. It’s because the Bucs need to beef up the talent there again.
Luke Stocker is a solid blocker and Alan Cross shows promise but Brandon Myers is just about done and there’s no way of knowing if Kivon Cartwright or Tevin Westbrook will develop into playmakers.
It’s possible they could but the Bucs and their fans probably cringe when they think about what could have been had ASJ not proved to be one of the biggest knuckleheads in recent history to snap up a chin strap.
Then again, maybe they don’t. ASJ showed a lot of promise during his tenure with the Bucs but he didn’t prove to be a difference maker after landing with the Jets last year.
He wound up playing in just seven games with two starts and caught only 13 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Nothing special there, though it appears he did stay out of trouble. That’s certainly a plus.