The Police Blotter
By Shawn Gallagher – DFW Writer
Most Dynasty owners and NFL fans are getting pretty geeked that the NFL season is almost here, and NFL teams will at least be playing preseason games within a matter of days from now. NFL players have had plenty of time off to rest and relax these past few months, but unfortunately for these players, the NFL offseason gives them plenty of free time to get into trouble or get arrested for both serious and minor crimes. In this column we will take a look at some players who recently have had some trouble with the law, and how this will affect their values for the 2013 season and for dynasty owners like us. To have some fun with this column I’ve added a soundtrack from one of my favorite bands growing up, and of course I’m talking about “The Police”.
Aaron Hernandez – Murder Charges (June)
Gotta start with this one here, as unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Aaron Hernandez is facing some serious murder charges and the picture doesn’t look good. Chances are he’s played his last NFL down, and probably won’t ever make it out of prison, depending on the outcome of this case of course. I’d advise the few dynasty owners still holding onto the guy to go ahead and cut him loose, as even if he ends up getting acquitted of some of these serious charges, chances are he still won’t be back to play in the NFL again. It’s time to cut bait!
Marshawn Lynch – DUI (from 2012)
The trial keeps getting delayed for “Beastmode” as Marshawn Lynch still is trying to get a resolution on a DUI charge from 2012. Chances are Lynch won’t see any potential suspension in 2013 however, as the next hearing on this case is scheduled for December, and could get settled before that. Lynch still carries a high “knucklehead” factor going forward however, and this isn’t his first run in with the law, so smart dynasty owners should be sure to handcuff Marshawn Lynch with backup Seattle running backs like Robert Turbin, and the newly drafted Christine Michael. Lynch is now 27 years old, and “Beastmode” is still high on the radar of the Seattle Police department and others nearby.
Adam “Pacman” Jones – Assault (June)
Surprise!!! Adam “Pacman” Jones is facing another charge from an incident at a nightclub! In this case, a woman claims that Pacman assaulted her and her friends just outside of a local Cincinnati hotspot. This case is still very much up in the air however, as surveillance tape is being reviewed as we speak. If found guilty of this assault its very possible that Pacman could be facing a lengthy suspension or could get released by the Bengals. My feeling on Pacman, is that his best days are behind him and he’s nearly 30 years old, and not worth the hassle of an IDP roster spot, even if he’s totally cleared of these charges. The Bengals are clearly giving him his last chance, and are keeping him on the roster for now, but you certainly don’t need to keep him around on any dynasty IDP rosters of yours.
Josh Gordon – Failed Drug Tests (June)
So Browns WR Josh Gordon wasn’t technically arrested for anything this offseason, however, there still are some big concerns about failed drug tests that were recently reported by the NFL. Gordon currently faces a 2 game suspension to start the 2013 season, and another failed drug test could cause him to get suspended for a full season by the NFL! Gordon has faced drug issues since college, so there is a bit of a pattern here and reason for concern. Dynasty owners shouldn’t cut bait on Josh Gordon right now, as he’s an incredible talent entering just his 2nd year with tremendously high upside, but Gordon owners need to stay deep at the wide receiver position with strong backup options, as the potential remains that the Browns receiver could miss significant time in the future if we see another failed drug test.
Jason Peters – Illegal Drag Racing, Fleeing Police (June)
This arrest was probably the most fun one of the offseason, as Eagles starting tackle Jason Peters was arrested for going “Fast and Furious” and competing in an illegal drag race in Louisiana, and later fleeing the cops. Peters is coming off a season ending 2012 injury where he tore his Achilles tendon, but claims to be fully healthy again. While I don’t anticipate Peters to be suspended from the league because of this, its important to follow Peters’ status, especially if you own any Eagles skill players. Things are a bit shaky right now for new Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly, as they are easing Peters back from a major injury, and expectations are high very early on for 1st round pick Offensive tackle Lane Johnson. The Eagles just lost WR Jeremy Maclin for the season, and if Jason Peters misses time for any reason, things could be really rough, especially early on for any Eagles on your dynasty roster like Lesean McCoy and Desean Jackson, oh and whoever they decide to play at quarterback of course.
Joe “Captain” Morgan – DUI (June)
The receiver we will now refer to as “Captain” Morgan, Saints WR Joe Morgan was arrested after falling asleep behind the wheel and being found with a blood alcohol level that is nearly three times the legal limit for in most states. The Saints claim that Joe Morgan’s roster spot is just fine and that he has a great chance to start this season, but this arrest is obviously troubling. Its unclear just yet if the league will discipline Joe Morgan for this arrest, but “Captain” Morgan better be on his best behavior going forward here, or he could face harsher league penalties and possibly his roster spot in the future. That being said, dynasty owners should still roll with Morgan, as he is quite a nice “sleeper” as a receiver in the high powered Saints offense this season and beyond, no pun intended.
Dan “Switchblade” Connor – Taking switchblade knife into airport (July)
Perhaps Dan Connor was trying to audition to be a Federal air marshall, but he was arrested just recently after airline security found a switchblade knife in his luggage. Connor recently signed with the Giants as a free agent this past offseason, and dynasty owners in IDP leagues need to keep an eye on Dan Connor. The league isn’t expected to discipline Connor for this knife incident, and I actually really like his prospects in IDP leagues as a top linebacker for a very solid Giants defensive unit.
Mike Goodson – Illegal Drug and Weapons Charges (May)
The Jets signed veteran running back Mike Goodson this past offseason with the thought that he would compete for the starting job in New York. Those chances took a turn for the worse for the new Jet in May when Goodson was arrested in a car filled with marijuana and loaded guns. This arrest and situation certainly puts Goodson in danger of facing jail time, a league suspension, and possible release from the Jets. The team also acquired Chris Ivory this past offseason, and Ivory clearly now is the favorite to start at running back for the Jets this season. While it is unlikely we’ll know about Goodson’s legal and NFL punishment before this season starts, I really don’t see a need to keep him rostered unless your dynasty team is really desperate for running back help. Its also unclear if Goodson will last through training camp this summer, as his off the field issues are really concerning, even for the New York Jets.
Broncos Execs Matt Russell and Tom Heckert – DUIs (June)
Broncos’ director of player personnel Matt Russell arrested for driving drunk with an open container and crashing into a police car of all things this past June, and Tom Heckert, another higher up in the Broncos front office was arrested on similar charges a few weeks earlier. Russell has been seen as the heir apparent to John Elway in Denver, and the team even blocked other teams from interviewing Russell this past offseason. Heckert was recently GM of the Cleveland Browns last season and is getting a fresh start in Denver. This is a situation to monitor closely, as the Broncos front office under Elway is seen as one of the strongest in the league, but I’d guess that both of these guys need to avoid further incidents in the future to keep their jobs with the team. Matt Russell’s role in building the Broncos roster has been very large in recent years, and it could be a crushing blow to the organization if he doesn’t get his act together soon and “put on the red light”.
Keep Following the Police Blotter!!
Unfortunately in this era of pro sports and the NFL, we see quite a lot of arrests and legal issues, and these are just a handful of the players facing legal trouble as we speak. I also didn’t mention other talented players with a history of legal trouble like Kenny Britt and Brandon Marshall, but those guys obviously still need to be monitored by savvy dynasty owners. Commissioner Roger Goodell also has a very low tolerance for quite a few of these crimes, as each arrest or legal issue can do damage to the league’s image. Lately, The Police have really had a lot of these NFL players “Wrapped Around their Finger”.