Claude Wroten hopes Arena Football is his way back to the NFL

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In 2006, the Rams spent a third-round draft pick on defensive tackle Claude Wroten even though he had been arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute three months earlier. That turned out to be a mistake: Wroten was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy in 2007, then suspended for the entire season for another positive drug test in 2008. After that, his career was effectively over.

At least, it appeared to be over. Now Wroten is playing Arena Football for the Orlando Predators, and he says he is done with drugs and hoping for another chance in the NFL.

NFL teams don’t have to worry about me,” Wroten told the Orlando Sentinel. “My ultimate goal is to make it back to the big show, back to the NFL. I feel I’m on the brink. I’m in the best shape of my life mentally, spiritually and physically.”

Wroten threw away most of his prime athletic years, but at age 29, there’s still a chance that he could convince some NFL team to give him one more chance. The NFL reinstated him in 2010, so he can play if he can find a team willing to sign him to a contract.

“I don’t look back at my life and say ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda,'” Wroten said. “I don’t live with regrets. My goal is to become a renaissance story and come back to the NFL. That’s my driving force.”

Playing well in Arena Football — and staying out of trouble — could be Wroten’s ticket to an NFL training camp.