There may be some extra air to be had. With still two to three more weeks until NFL players report to training camp, NFL executives, general managers and coaches are collectively holding their breath as they try to avoid daily news.
Yes, 2016 NFL Stupid Season is in full swing. These five-plus weeks between the close of your team’s June mini-camps and the start of training camp at the end of July is crazy time. It’s when your players and coaches are on their own. The reins are off. And the stupid comes out.
NFL arrests and misdeeds happen every year, all year. But this is the last time in 2016 players and coaches alike will have the most idle time to pursue their non-football interests. No required attendance. No team-enforced daily regimens.
For a majority of players and coaches, it’s a time for recreation and preparation for the rigors of the demanding NFL schedule. For a few less well-adjusted or not-so-mentally empowered players, it’s too much rope.
In a bit of an interesting twist in this 2016 version of NFL Stupid Season, several ex-players (or suddenly ex-players because they just crossed their own names off of 32 NFL teams’ maybe list) are getting the top headlines. For some, their offseason began well before June mini-camps … and is likely to last far longer.
Any offseason time is a dangerous time for the untethered NFL. Let’s review NFL Stupid Season so far. Don’t see your team represented here? Just wait. And hold your breath.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended license following a single-car accident in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne was arrested in North Carolina for speeding and reckless driving. He was cited for going 102 in a 65 m.p.h. zone.
Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell has got my vote as the most despicable of all of the Stupid Season contestants. And he didn’t even commit a crime. Crowell posted a hideous depiction of an image of a black clad assailant slitting the throat of a police officer on Instagram, along with the words “They give police all types of weapons and they continually choose to kill us….#Weak.” He has since apologized for posting the image.
Notorious quarterback Johnny Manziel was charged in late January on domestic violence charges. He was indicted on those charges in April. The team released the once promising first-round draft pick in March. His girlfriend accused him of striking her after leaving a bar in Dallas. Given Manziel’s life trajectory, it’s hard to see him ever resurrecting his NFL career.
Cowboys wide receiver and offensive centerpiece Dez Bryant is being sued by Texas state senator Royce West for damages to a rental home owned by West, but used by Bryant. West seeks between $100,000 and $200,000 in damages for “negligent and abusive” destruction of property.
This is not the first time Bryant has had difficulty in civilized society. West is (or was) part of a mentoring support group for Bryant. West was also Bryant’s attorney that defended him during a dispute involving money owed for jewelry in 2011 and for a domestic violence case in 2012.
And in more former NFL player police-related news, former Cowboys running back Joseph Randle had this to say to a deputy: “I will kill you I swear on my life and everything that I have I will kill you when I get out.” He made these threats while incarcerated for charges including hitting three people with a car and interfering with police officers trying to serve him a warrant.
Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer was arrested May 30 on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for failing for failing to appear in court in a Denver traffic case. Latimer had called police alleging his girlfriend hit him. Police found outstanding traffic warrant from 2015 and arrested him for that.
Journeyman tight end Richard Gordon was arrested in June for allegedly punching his girlfriend, according to police records.
Gordon, who was waived by the Denver Broncos in May, had an AR-15 assault rifle on the seat of his car, with two magazines of ammunition and a small amount of marijuana. Authorities believe he may have intended to shoot up a strip club, where he had had an altercation the night before. Originally a sixth-round pick by the Oakland Raiders, Gordon had spent time with six different NFL teams before being waived by Denver. In his five years bouncing around the league, he had been evaluated for mental illness three times.
Safety Shiloh Keo was arrested for DUI in Idaho on February 13, 2016.
If you’ve worn the colors, when you do bad, you still drag the team through the mud. Former Lions cornerback Stanley Wilson II was shot while breaking into a home. He was naked at the time (so, technically, he wasn’t wearing any team colors per se). Wilson has been charged with first- and second-degree attempted burglary, and first- and second-degree trespassing. He last played for the Lions in 2008.
Texans wide receiver Jaelen Strong was arrested in February for marijuana possession in Scottsdale, Ariz.
In February, offensive lineman Jonathan Newsome was arrested on charges of marijuana possession. He was cut by the team.
Well-traveled Colts running back Robert Turbin (Seahawks, Cowboys, Browns) was busted for marijuana possession in Utah in early July. He will be arraigned on July 26 and could face up to six months jail time.
On June 19, Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta was arrested for pushing a woman in the face after she refused to give him her phone number.
In July, Jaguars running back Denard Robinson plunged his car into a pond in Florida. Despite that alarming state of circumstances, Robinson was discovered asleep by responding police officers. Despite being in a pond, he and his passenger didn’t want to get out of their vehicle. Robinson was found to be not intoxicated. Just very sleepy.
Los Angeles Rams
Rams running back Tre Mason was arrested for reckless driving and marijuana possession in Hollywood, Florida in March.
Not to be outdone, Rams’ safety T.J. McDonald was arrested in May on suspicion of being under the influence of an illegal substance other than alcohol after striking a parked car.
Surprise: Marcus Vick is going to jail.
New England Patriots
Running back Montee Ball was arrested in February for domestic violence. Ball is accused of disorderly conduct and battery after allegedly striking his girlfriend in the face.
Wide receiver J.J. Worton was arrested for assault in January. He is charged with assault and battery after a bar fight in Foxboro, Mass.
New Orleans Saints
In March, Saints cornerback Damian Swann was arrested on speeding and reckless driving charges in Athens, Georgia.
Former Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was arrested in June for allegedly pulling a gun on his wife. Jackson had hoped to return to the Seahawks for another year as Russell Wilson’s backup. Plans for ongoing employment by the Seahawks are now all the more tenuous for Jackson.
Former and once-again Seahawk, cornerback Brandon Browner, is “under investigation” for assault. In July, Browner was questioned by police for allegedly attacking his child’s grandfather, according to TMZ Sports.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stupid Season — spousal edition: Your star and undisputed champion, the mouth from the South, the tweeter with the heater, Mrs. Brent Grimes … Miko Grimes. Take a bow, Miko.
On a lighter note, Bucs wide receiver Louis Murphy managed to get himself locked in a museum after passing out at Chicago Bears’ Deonte Thompson’s wedding. He found it necessary to break a pane of glass to access a phone and call for help. He is cooperating with the museum to repair the damages.