|Ellis avoids deportation with plea agreement. (Getty Images)|
Ellis isn't a United States citizen (he was born in Jamaica and moved to the U.S. at age 11), but he holds "permanent resident" status. As such, a permanent resident can be deported if convicted of aggravated felony. To avoid this, Ellis reached an agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. He was sentenced Monday to 179 days in prison, with 89 days suspended and two years supervised probation, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Richi Cimini.
Ellis' attorney told Cimini that, based on Virginia law, his client will serve 45 days with good behavior. And based on the timing of the sentence, Ellis won't miss OTAs or minicamp, which starts for the Jets on July 26. The attorney adds that his client is "anxious to get this behind him. ... He wants to get on with his career with the New York Jets. This (plea deal) is a fair compromise, and it protects his ability to do that."
As for any league-mandated sanctions, an NFL spokesman told the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta that the league will review the court records to determine if there will be any subsequent punishments.
Before the 2011 NFL Draft, at least one NFL general manager admitted that he shied away from Ellis because of the pending legal issues. "That was big for us," the GM told Cimini at the time. "It's a pain in the tail, the whole legal issue."
Clearly, this wasn't a problem for Jets coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who had previously dealt with Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie, players who arrived in New York with baggage from previous stops in their NFL journeys. In fact, the team said it was comfortable with the risk of taking Ellis after doing its due diligence.
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