I looked at the offense last week, this week it’s the defense. Keep an eye on NFL-Ireland next week when we should have the kicker, punter and some bench players after some great suggestions and feedback from the folks over at r/NFL. Just a quick reminder the list isn’t the best players that have been arrested, or the most heinous crimes but rather a combination of the profile of the player and the crime and the severity of the sentence!
Defensive End: Fred Evans (Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings)
Arrests: Battery on a police officer, Disorderly conduct, Resisting arrest, Trespassing (2007)
Fred Evans was drafted by Miami in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Texas State. After playing only one season for the Dolphins, Evans was arrested in the offseason of 2007 when he got into an argument with a taxi driver in Miami Beach. Evans refused to get out of the cab and when police officers arrived on the scene, he resisted arrest and struggled with the officers. One officer received a bite to the wrist. Evans had to be tasered for the officers to arrest him. When Evans was charged with battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing it was also revealed that he was on probation for marijuana possession. Evans was waived by the Dolphins the next week.
Defensive End: Dexter Manley (Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Arrests: Possession of a controlled substance (1995, 1996)
Dexter Manley, aka the “Secretary of Defense, was taken in the fifth round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He racked up 103 sacks in his ten seasons in the NFL, won two Super Bowls and made one trip to the Pro bowl in 1986. Manley received a life ban from the NFL when, in 1991, he failed his fourth drug test. In 1995 Manley was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, when police were called to his motel after he threatened to commit suicide. He voluntarily checked himself in to the Sam Houston Spring Branch Hospital for four months of rehab. In July of 2006 he was arrested again for cocaine possession, when his car was searched at a a traffic stop. Manley tried to flee the police by running down the highway. Manley was sentenced to four years in prison, only serving two of them.
Defensive Tackle: Terry ‘Tank’ Johnson (Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals)
Arrests: Possession of a handgun in his sport utility vehicle (2005), Aggravated assault, Resisting arrest, Possessing an unlicensed gun (2006), DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree (2007)
A second round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Tank Johnson had 125 tackles and five sacks in his seven year NFL career. Unfortunately Tank’s off field activities were far more headline worthy than his defensive skills. Johnson was first arrested in 2005 at a Nightclub in Chicago when police found a handgun in his SUV. He was given 18 months probation. Durning his probable, he allegedly got in a struggle with an officer ticketing the limo he had rented and had to be maced. In 2006, again, Johnson’s home was searched by Police officers and they found two assault rifles and four other firearms. Johnson eventually got a 45 day sentence for the guns which he served concurrently with a four month sentence he received for violating his probation. Tank also received an eight match ban from the NFL.
Defensive Tackle: Alonzo Spellman (Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions)
Arrests: Interference with a flight crew (2007), Eluding police officers, Assault with a dangerous weapon (2008)
Alonzo Spellman, the 22nd pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, struggled with bipolar disorder from early in his career and went through stages of not taking his medication causing his arrest on two occasions. In 2002, Spellman became erratic on a flight to Philadelphia telling passengers the plane was going to crash, then verbally abused passengers and threatened the flight crew. The plane made an emergency landing and Spellman was arrested and later charged for interference with a flight crew and served 18 months in prison. In 2008 Spellman had a row in a convenience store and speed off in his car. Police chased Spellman and had to use a spike strip to stop him. He was sentenced to a one year jail sentence but was released for time already served.
Linebacker: Lawrence Taylor (New York Giants)
Arrests: DWI (1989), Filing a false federal income tax return (1990), Trying to possess crack cocaine (1996), Possession of crack cocaine (2008), Third-degree rape (2010)
LT was the second pick of the 1981 NFL Draft and went on to play 184 games for the Giants recording 1,088 tackles and 142 sacks. He won two Super Bowls and played in ten Pro Bowls, Taylor was also a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer. LT was also a prolific drinker and drug user, getting arrested in 1989 for a DWI when a police officer found him asleep in his car at 3.30am on a busy New Jersey highway. He was arrested twice for buying drugs from police officers, the first time in 1996 in South Carolina where Taylor paid $100 to a police officer for crack. In 1998 he was again arrested for buying $50 of crack from a police officer in his hotel room in Florida. In 2000, Taylor was sentenced to three months of house arrest and five years probation for tax evasion.
Linebacker: Steve Foley (Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers)
Arrests: Domestic violence, Disturbing the peace (2000), Resisting arrest, Battery on a police officer, Being drunk in public, DUI (2006)
Steve Foley was the 75th pick of the 1998 NFL Draft out of UL Monroe. He made 124 tackles and notched up 25 sacks in his 96 games of his nine year NFL career. Foley was first arrested in 2000 on a domestic violence charge after an argument with the mother of his son. He was arrested again in 2006, this time on charges of resisting arrest in San Diego after starting a fight with police officers when they were making arrangements for his car to be towed. Foley was also arrested for a DUI when he was shoot three times by a police officer in September 2006. Foley had been followed by a off duty police officer who suspected Foley of driving under the influence. When the officer confronted Foley, the player jumped in the passenger side of his car and the driver, a friend of Foley’s, drove the car at the officer who fired multiple times into the car. Foley was shoot three times but had non life-threatening injuries. Foley received a five year informal probation sentence for his DUI.
Linebacker: Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens)
Arrests: Murder (2007)
Ray Lewis was the 26th pick in the 1996 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. He was MVP of the Ravens Super Bowl XXXV win and has been to 13 Pro Bowls. Lewis has played 222 times for the Ravens in 16 seasons and recorded over two thousand tackles. The night of a Super Bowl party in Atlanta in 2000, two people were stabbed when Lewis and his friends got into a fight with another group. Lewis was arrested on murder charges which were later dismissed when he gave evidence against two of his friends. Lewis was given 12 months probation for obstruction of justice and the NFL find Lewis $250,000.
Cornerback: Darryl Henley (Los Angeles Rams)
Arrests: Drug trafficking, Attempted murder (2007)
Darryl Henley was a second round pick out of UCLA, who played 76 games in the six years he spent in the NFL. Henley received 21 years in jail in 1996 after being caught attempting to traffic more then $1 million worth of cocaine. He received a further 19 years on a plea bargain for attempted murder, when he attempted to hire a hit man to kill the judge of his drug trial and a LA Rams cheerleader that gave evidence against him.
Cornerback: Adam “Pacman” Jones (Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals)
Arrests: Assault, Vandalism (2005), Drug possession, Obstruction, Disorderly conduct, public intoxication, Assault (2006), Coercion (2007), Disorderly conduct while intoxicated, Resisting arrest (2011)
Pacman Jones was the 6th pick of the 2005 NFL Draft for the Titans and joined the league while already on probation, not much changed during Jones’ five sporadic seasons in the NFL. As early as July 2005, Jones was causing trouble, getting arrested for assault and vandalism after a fight in a Nashville club. In 2005, Jones had his probation extended by a year for not making sufficient contact with his probation officer. In February 2006, Jones was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and obstruction of justice. Jones then got in trouble in 2006 for spitting on a female in two separate incidents. Jones had another run in with the law after he and rapper Nelly “made it rain” in a strip club in Las Vegas. When one of the dancers grabbed the money, Jones allegedly assaulted her. One of Jones’ entourage is claimed to have later returned to the venue and opened fire, injuring three people. Pacman was charged with coercion for his role in the fracas. In 2011 Jones was arrested for being disorderly while intoxicated and resisting arrest at 3am in Cincinnati.
Safety: Dwight Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions)
Arrests: Brandishing a handgun at motorist (2003, 2005), Indecent conduct (2006), Marijuana possession (2007)
Dwight Smith was the 84th overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. He went on to play 117 games in eight seasons in the NFL. Smith was first arrested on 2003 when he had an argument with another motorist when they tried to merge into the same lane. Smith pulled out his gun, denying he pointed it at the driver, and was charged with brandishing a handgun at motorist. He received one year probation for the incident. Smith was arrested again in 2005 after two fans approached his car while he was waiting at a drive through McDonalds, Smith pulled what later turned out to be a BB gun on the fans. Smith was arrested in 2006 for having sex in a stairwell in a night club in Minneapolis. Smith was arrested for a fourth time in 2007 when police officers noticed a smell of marijuana in Smith’s car, the safety admitted to officers he had been smoking but charges were dropped.
Safety: Terrence Kiel (San Diego Chargers)
Arrests: Possession, Intent to sell and Transportation of a controlled substance (2006), Public urination (2007)
Terrence Kiel was drafted out of Texas A&M in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He managed to play 59 games for the Chargers, even after being shot three times in July 2003. In September 2006 Kiel was arrested, at the Chargers facility during practice, for possession, possession for sale and transportation of a controlled substance. Kiel had been caught illegally shipping cases of prescription cough syrup to East Texas, for use in ‘cocktails’ such as ‘Purple Drank’. He was sentenced to three years probation and was subsequently released by the Chargers. Kiel was also arrested in 2007 for urinating outside a night club in San Diego. Terrence Kiel died in a car crash in 2008.