It’s Stupid Season in the NFL - 2016 Edition: The Seahawks are not Immune
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
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 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 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.”
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.
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 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.
Related Slideshow: The 10 Dumbest Coaching Decisions in NFL History
Mike Ditka - Benching Walter Payton in Super Bowl
Mike Ditka kept Walter Payton on the bench after an early fumble in Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots.
The decision did not matter much as the Bears shredded the Patriots 46-10 but it's just silly. Instead, Ditka used William Perry and quarterback Jim McMahon to score two goalline touchdowns.
Walter Payton finished his career with 110 rushing touchdowns, 15 receiving touchdowns and 16,726 yards rushing. In that Super Bowl, Payton carried the ball 22 times for 66 yards and was still the teams leading rusher in the game, but no touchdown.
Ditka, who now works for ESPN, has since said that he regrets the decision to not let Payton score.
Photo courtesy of chicagobears.com
Chuck Pagano - Fake Punt
The Patriots were up by six, 27-21, with a minute left in the third quarter and forced the Colts to punt on a fourth and three, or so we thought.
The Colts lined up with eight players near the line of scrimmage to the right side and the punter behind them. Then wide receiver Griff Whalen lined up as the snapper and safety Colt Anderson lined up under center.
They snapped the ball and the Patriots made the easy stop for a turnover on downs.
"The whole idea there was on fourth-and-3 or less, shift our alignment to where you either catch them misaligned, they try to sub some people in, catch them with 12 men on the field and if you get a certain look, you can make a play. Alignment-wise we weren't lined up correctly, and then a communication problem on the snap. I take responsibility for that," said Colts head coach Chuck Pagano after the game.
The Patriots scored a touchdown on their next drive to go up 34-21 and ice the game.
You could argue that play cost the Colts the game.
Bill Belichick - 4th and 2
In the historic rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, this game came down to a decision by head coach Bill Belichick to go for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28 yard line as opposed to punting the ball away.
Brady threw the ball to Kevin Faulk who was stopped short of the first down marker giving Manning the ball back and a relatively easy win. Manning found Reggie Wayne for a one yard touchdown pass, completing a 17 point comeback by Indianapolis.
If Belichick had punted the ball away, Manning still may have come down and scored and won the game, but at least it would have given the Patriots defense more of a chance.
Miracle at the Meadowlands
On November 19, 1978 the New York Giants took over possession of the football with a 17-12 lead and under two minutes to play against the rival Philadelphia Eagles.
Instead of just taking a knee, quarterback Joe Pisarcik handed the ball to Larry Czonka who ran for 11 yards. All was fine. However, on the next play, the Giants did the exact same thing except this time Pisarcik's handoff slipped out of his hands and Philadelphia's Herm Edwards scooped it up and scored the winning touchdown.
Thus, the Miracle at the Meadowlands was born.
Rex Ryan - Calls Time Out, Pats Perfect Season Continues
The Baltimore Ravens hosted the New England Patriots in an early December 2007 game and had a chance to win the game, should have won the game, were going to win the game and end the unbeaten season, until defensive coordinator Rex Ryan called time out.
The Patriots had 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 30 yard line and Tom Brady called his own number with a QB sneak but was stuffed. However, Rex Ryan had called time out just prior to the snap meaning the play did not count.
The Patriots were given a penalty on the next attempt and then converted for the first down on what ended up being a 4th and 5 two plays after the timeout.
The Patriots won the game 27-24 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Jabar Gaffney with 44 seconds left. New England stayed undefeated.
Marty Mornhinweg - Defers in Sudden Death OT
It was 2002 and the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears were tied at 17 and were headed into sudden death overtime.
Detroit Lions won the overtime coin toss and head coach Marty Mornhinweg decided to defer, giving the Bears the first overtime possession.
Chicago went down the field and won the game on a Paul Edinger 40-yard field goal.
Photo courtesy of New York Jets wikipedia
Jason Garrett Ices Own Kicker
An important December win slipped away from the Dallas Cowboys when head coach Jason Garrett called a just before kicker Dan Bailey nailed a 49-yard field goal.
Bailey had to redo the kick and missed it short and wide left the second time around.
The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Dallas Cowboys in overtime.
"The play clock was running down. We just wanted to make sure that he had a real clean opportunity at it. It was at about six [seconds] and we were still getting settled in, so we banged a timeout to give him the opportunity to get the snap, hold and kick as clean as possible," Garrett said after the game.
Bill Belichick - Benching Wes Welker in Playoff Game
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick benched wide receiver Wes Welker for the first offensive possession of a 2011 divisional round playoff game against the New York Jets.
Belichick benched Welker because of comments that Welker had made earlier in the week regarding Jets coach Rex Ryan's foot fetish.
While Welker's benching did not lead directly to the Patriots losing the game, it rattled the Patriots offense early on and they were not able to recover.
Dennis Green- 1999 NFC Championship Game
The Minnesota Vikings had one of the greatest offenses of all time in 1999, featuring quarterback Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, Robert Smith and Randy Moss.
In the final moments of the NFC Championship game, head coach Dennis Green decided to have his offense take a knee and play for overtime. Vikings kicker Gary Anderson only needed about 40 yards and the Vikings had two timeouts left.
The Vikings lost the coin toss in overtime and proceeded to lose the game.
Pete Carroll - Super Bowl XLIX
The Seattle Seahawks trailed the New England Patriots 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX and had second and goal from about the Patriots three yard line.
The Seahawks had been running the ball well the entire game with Marshawn Lynch and he nearly got into the endzone on the play before. Instead of running Lynch, Carroll sets Russell Wilson up in the shotgun and has him throw a slant that Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler read perfectly and intercepted.
If Carroll had run the ball again, the Seahawks likely would have won the Super Bowl, instead, the Patriots won thier fourth.
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