Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/25/12

The Cincinnati Bengals are supporting one of their undrafted rookies who was sentenced to three years in prison this week.

Linebacker Brandon Joiner's sentencing on Wednesday stems from a 2007 incident when he was an 18-year-old at Texas A&M. He and a teammate allegedly broke into an apartment, assaulted two men, restrained them with duct tape and stole their wallets, cell phones, keys and marijuana, reported USA Today. Police later found Hydrocodone and Ecstacy in Joiner's home.

"Though it is unlikely he will have any chance to play this season, his contract extends beyond 2012, and the club is choosing to retain his NFL rights at this time," the Bengals said in a statement on Friday. "His positive actions during the past five years, including significant community service work, graduation from Arkansas State University and an unblemished subsequent behavior record, have generated a group of active supporters."

The team said Arkansas governor Mike Beebe and former Arkansas State linebackers coach and current Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze are in support of Joiner.

After leaving Texas A&M, Joiner finished his career at Arkansas State and signed a multi-year contract with the Bengals, who said they plan to keep him on the roster.

Joiner's lawyer, Jay Granberry, told the Bryan/College Station Eagle newspaper that he could be released on parole in six months.

"Since this incident, Brandon has conducted himself in an exemplary fashion and I'm sure he will continue to do that," he said. "There are a lot of people rooting for Brandon and I'm convinced he's not going to let anyone down."

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