The NFL may some day have a zero tolerance policy toward players who are accused of domestic violence. But that day is not today.
For evidence, look no further than the Cardinals’ decision to sign running back Chris Rainey to their practice squad today. Rainey has twice been kicked off football teams over allegations of domestic violence.
Rainey was a fifth-round draft pick of the Steelers in 2012, and shortly after his rookie season ended, the Steelers cut him when he was accused of slapping his girlfriend. He later pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct in connection with that incident.
In 2010, Rainey was kicked off the team at Florida after he was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated stalking after allegedly sending threatening text messages to a woman he had been dating. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stalking charge.
At a time when the dominant story in and around the NFL is the Ray Rice domestic violence case, you might think teams would hesitate before signing a player with a checkered past like Rainey. But you’d be wrong. In the NFL, talent matters more than character, and the Cardinals think Rainey has the talent to help them win. That’s why he’s in Arizona.