The “days without an arrest” meter once again has made its way to double digits, possibly to be reset by one of the last players anyone would have expected to be charged with battery. Coincidentally, news of Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew’s battery charges came from TMZ just as I was wrapping up a story applauding all NFL players for a Memorial Day free from criminal charges.
The Florida Times-Union has since reported that Jones-Drew has not been charged, and may never be.
Regardless of what happens with Jones-Drew, 20 players have been charged or arrested since the 2012 regular season ended. That’s four more than last year’s total through May 27 of 17.
And the NFL’s equivalent of the witching hour is coming. In the six-week donut hole between the end of offseason workouts and the launch of training camps, players looking to unwind could end up doing so in the backseat of a cruiser, debating the proper amount to tip a chambermaid.
Last year, 15 players were arrested or charged during the months of June and July. This year, who knows? In every year, the goal should be zero.
On one hand, people from all walks of life get arrested or charged with crimes. On the other hand, players have access to greater resources aimed at helping them avoid trouble, and a much stronger incentive to remain out of it. Here’s hoping that more players realize the best approach is to figure out where the proverbial line is, and to stay as far away from it as possible.