Mack Herron, who once held the single-season record for all-purpose yardage, has been arrested in Chicago for heroin possession, according to various media reports.
It was Herron’s 20th arrest in Chicago since the 1960s, all of which have related to narcotics.
Per SportingNews.com, Herron was selected by the Falcons in the sixth round of the 1970 draft. He ended up in Canada, and he was a runner-up for the league’s MVP award in 1972.
According to the Patriots’ website (via the Chicago Sun-Times), Herron was selling jeans in Chicago when Dick Steinberg, a Patriots scout who had coached Herron in college, lobbied for New England to sign him.
In 1974, the five-foot, five-inch Herron racked up 2,444 all-purpose yards for the Patriots, breaking Gale Sayers record of 2,440.
The current mark was set by Derrick Mason in 2000, with 2,690. But Herron’s per-game average of 174.3 is more than six yards better than Mason’s average of 168.25. Herron’s 37-year-old feat ranks ninth on the all-time list, but every player in front of him needed 16 games to surpass what Herron did in 14.
The sad part is that he’s now remembered only because he once again has landed on the wrong side of the law. Maybe the message to the NFL is that records should be kept not based on full-season gross numbers, but based on average per game. Especially if/when the season grows to 18 games.