Cornerback Perrish Cox, a fifth-round pick in 2010, appeared in 15 games and nine of them as a rookie. It wasn’t enough to get him a second season.
Looming over the decision to cut Cox are the pending charges arising from allegations that he had sex with a woman who had passed out in his apartment. He vehemently denied the conduct, but a DNA sample given by court order showed that Cox had impregnated the alleged victim.
While explaining the move to the media, G.M. Brian Xanders indicated that only football concerns fueled the team’s thought processes. “Everybody coming out of that lockout, it’s their job to create their role,” Xanders said, via comments distributed by the team. “No roster spot is safe; [Cox's] was based on the preseason games and the five weeks of training camp. It’s unfortunate to make a cut like that when he had started for us the year before, but the coaches talked to him about what he needs to improve on for his career. It’s unfortunate to let a draft pick go like that.”
What he needs to improve on initially is his legal situation. The police affidavit detailing the charges against Cox, which his lawyer fought to keep concealed, contains detailed information, which the team called “extremely serious and troubling.” Cox has no real escape route — it’s uncontested that the woman passed out, and Cox consistently denied having sex with her at all. Once the DNA test came back positive, the game was over.
Sure, Cox is entitled to the presumption of innocence. And, yeah, the prosecution must prove all elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Given those high standards, seemingly guilty people like O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony have been acquitted. So there’s hope for Cox.
But not much. And regardless of how the criminal case turns out, the available information surely influenced the Broncos — and it should influence any other team that considers giving Cox a job.