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Ex-Patriot Willie McGinest out at NFL Network amid assault charges: report

The NFL Network is reportedly parting ways with Willie McGinest as he faces up to eight years in prison.

McGinest was hit with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury stemming from an attack at a restaurant in West Hollywood.

The former defensive lineman turned himself into police on Dec. 19 in connection with the assault that occurred 10 days prior. The video seems to show McGinest punching a man in the face and later attacking him with a bottle.

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New England Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest on the sideline during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on December 11, 2005. New England won the game 35-7.  (Mark Konezny/NFLPhotoLibrary)

McGinest spent the majority of his 15-year career in New England, earning two Pro Bowl nods and three Super Bowl championships.

The 51-year-old apologized for the incident shortly after in a lengthy Instagram post.

“First and foremost, I want to offer my deepest apology for my lapse in judgment and behavior on December 9 at a restaurant in West Hollywood,” McGinest wrote on Instagram later that month. “To my family, community, friends, and youth I mentor, please know I feel horrible for my actions and take full responsibility.

New England Patriots Willie McGinest during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIX between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005. 

New England Patriots Willie McGinest during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIX between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6, 2005.  (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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“To my colleagues at the NFL Network and those that I work closely with as an advisor to professional and community-based organizations, please know I am embarrassed and regret what occurred.

“Most of all, I am disappointed in myself, as I know this is an isolated incident and is not reflective of my faith, role as a father, life’s body of work, or the role model I’ve worked hard to become. It is personally devastating that decades of community service, youth engagement, mentoring, and professional development would become an afterthought in a single moment that should never have happened.

Willie McGinest #55 of the New England Patriots looks on before a NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on October 10, 2004, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  

Willie McGinest #55 of the New England Patriots looks on before a NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on October 10, 2004, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.   (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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“This incident has prompted me to deep self-reflection — mind, soul, and spirit. I know that violence is never the answer to such situations, no matter how intense the provocation. Rest assured, I will take whatever steps necessary to restore the public trust, mend damaged relationships, and ensure this never happens again.”

McGinest was suspended from his role as an analyst at NFL Network pending an investigation.

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