In early 2007, at a time when more and more players seemed to be getting arrested more and more frequently (which would result in the April 2007 unveiling of a new personal conduct policy), PFT decided to start keeping track of the arrests — and to adopt a twist on a device commonly used in workplaces to track the numbers of days without an injury.
At first, I was concerned that the “days without an arrest” tracker didn’t allow for three digits. For a while, however, it rarely needed a second digit.
Today, for the first time since its debut, the tracker has hit 40. (Former 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald, cut last week after his home was searched reportedly in connection with a rape accusation, has not yet been arrested, and currently is not in the NFL.) Whether that’s cause for celebration (you did it!) or a golf clap is a matter of debate. As a matter of fact, the tracker is now less than two months away from finally needing that previously unneeded triple digit.
Maybe it’s a fluke. Maybe I just jinxed it by pointing it out. Or maybe players have realized through the experiences of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and others that real consequences arise when misbehavior happens.
The chances of misbehavior increase as of Monday, when the offseason begins for 20 teams — and when all players are left to their own devices into April. Here’s hoping that the few who make the many look bad will take advantage of the various resources available to NFL players in order to avoid trouble for as long as possible into 2015.