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Boley's focus is on football

POSTED: October 13, 2008 5:00 a.m.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons linebacker Michael Boley can only hope his problems off the field don’t affect his next NFL contract.

Just as he showed with a timely fourth-quarter interception in Atlanta’s win last week at Green Bay, Boley still makes plenty of big plays for the Falcons.

However, it’s unlikely that Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff will consider contract talks until the team knows what Boley faces following his May 3 arrest on battery charges.

"I really don’t want to talk about that situation," Boley said Thursday. "I’m concentrating on football and trying to help our team win games."

Boley’s wife, Chantelle, called Gwinnett County police to their home in Dacula, approximately 25 miles southeast of the Falcons’ headquarters, after the linebacker allegedly "became physical with her" during an argument.

The charges include one county of family violence battery and two counts of simple battery.

Boley, who was released from jail after posting a $1,200 bond, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he and his wife still live together in their home and that they never separated following his arrest.

He added that he’s hopeful the charges will be dropped, but Jeff Kwiatkowski, a Gwinnett County chief assistant solicitor, said the case is still open. Kwiatkowski, who refused more than two telephone questions from The AP, would not say why Boley’s jury trial in front of State Court Judge Carla Brown did not begin as scheduled Monday.

Boley’s Atlanta-based attorney, Manubir Arora, did not return a phone call.

A four-year starter since the Falcons made him a fifth-round draft pick out of Southern Mississippi in 2005, Boley has never missed a game.

The 26-year-old native of Gadsden, Ala., had a career season last year with 93 solo tackles (10th-most in the NFL), three sacks, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and nine pass breakups.

All of his sacks came against Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning in the first half of a blowout loss last Thanksgiving. Boley left the season-ending win against Seattle after suffering a high ankle sprain that required surgical screws to strengthen his damaged tendons.

He signed a one-year, $2 million tender as a restricted free agent, but that contract expires after the season.

"They haven’t come up with anything as far as I know," said Boley, whose son, Michael Jr., suffers from severe autism. "We’ll just have to see how it all plays out because there’s a lot of football left to be played."

Atlanta (3-2) hosts the Chicago Bears (3-2) at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.Notes: Receiver Roddy White, whose 454 yards receiving rank third in the league, did not participate in practice a day after hitting his head in an accidental collision with safety Lawyer Milloy. "I’m OK," White said. "It’s no big deal. I’ll be ready for the Bears." ... Receiver Laurent Robinson is still wearing a knee brace and likely will miss his third straight game. ... Defensive tackle John Jefferson (ankle) could sit out his second straight.



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