The saga of Sean Taylor's criminal case appears to have come to a very fitting, anti-climactic conclusion.
Is that really any surprise to those that were actually following the case? Sure there were a lot of media reports convoluting the issue, but aren't there always? Isn't that the drawback of all of this wonderful information that the average internet user has at their disposal? Learning to separate the facts from the rhetoric has become a full time occupation for the average sports fan.
Taylor reportedly agreed to plea no contest to misdemeanor charges of simple battery and simple assault. In exchange, the prosecution will drop the felony charges against him. As part of the plea agreement, Taylor will visit ten Miami-Dade County schools to speak to the students about the value of staying in school. He will also donate $1000 to each of those ten schools for scholarships. Defense attorney Richard Sharpstein stated that Taylor would also receive 18 months of probation, but that if Sean does not violate his probation that the two misdemeanor charges would be dropped as well.
It's an appropriate ending to what has become more about grandstanding and self-promotion than a court case. The original prosecutor, Michael Grieco, was never as interested in justice as he was about using the platform to promote his disc jockey business. Grieco didn't just step down from the case in April; he resigned from the office.
Irrespective of the soap opera, the news and outcome are good for the Redskins and their fans. The case was slated to begin July 10th, and with training camp less than four weeks away at that point, the potential for further distraction was great. Redskin fans have been spared such insightful questions, like:
"Mr. Gibbs, the team looked great out there today. Drills were sharp, intensity was high... so what's going on with the Sean Taylor trial?"
"Mr. Saunders, obviously the offense has a lot to learn at camp with a new system to integrate. How do you feel Sean Taylor's court case is affecting that integration?"
Great stuff. Thankfully, that has been avoided with a resolution to this over-sensationalized debacle.
Now the Washington Redskins and Sean Taylor can concentrate on what matters... getting ready for the 2006 NFL season.