Jets knew IK Enemkpali was a character risk when they drafted him

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IK Enemkpali, the linebacker who was cut by the Jets today for breaking the jaw of quarterback Geno Smith with a locker room sucker punch, has a history of violence that the Jets were aware of when they drafted him.

In college at Louisiana Tech, Enemkpali was arrested for battery on a police officer. Enemkpali was eventually sentenced to probation for simple battery. At the time that the Jets drafted him, Enemkpali said he had learned from the experience.

“I was just being a young. [It was] a young, hot-headed decision,” Enemkpali said last year. “I didn’t think about everything. If I knew what I know now, I would’ve gotten myself out of that situation. I lost my cool. That’s what it was. I didn’t know he was undercover, which is no excuse, but . . . Yeah, I lost my cool.”

If the Jets knew what they know now, they wouldn’t have drafted Enemkpali. Teams take chances on players with character red flags all the time, and sometimes those risks come back to bite the team. That’s certainly the case with the Jets, who are now without their starting quarterback for the beginning of the regular season.

Jets coach Todd Bowles indicated that cutting Enemkpali was an easy decision.

“IK is gone,” Bowles said. “It’s something we don’t tolerate, something we can’t stand. You don’t walk up to another man and punch him in the face.”

Bowles declined to explain what led to the punch, but he said he was disappointed in his players that they weren’t mature enough to talk through their differences.

“It’s something very childish that sixth graders could have talked about,” Bowles said.

But the Jets’ locker room lacked the maturity of a sixth-grade class. As a result, Enemkpali is gone, and Smith is having his jaw surgically repaired.

91 responses to “Jets knew IK Enemkpali was a character risk when they drafted him

  1. “But the Jets’ locker room lacked the maturity of a sixth-grade class”

    Rex’s legacy.

  2. Now maybe teams will stop taking chances on questionable players. When it hurts your team this way — not only losing his ability but their QB too, it has to get the team’s attention.

  3. Brandon Marshall will get things straight in the Jets locker room with his keen sense of leadership

  4. How pathetic that the haters can’t line up fast enough to pile on. Even though the haters will still spit out their hate, this has nothing to do with the team and everything to do with one dumb player who evidently is stupid enough to punch his starting quarterback. Seriously stupid.

  5. This will mark the beginning of the culture change, Bowles will inevitably complete. New jets culture, better long term success. Will take a couple of years to reap the benefits, but as a long suffering Jet fan, I am encouraged by the new front office and coaching staff

  6. “You reap what you Sew”…….it doesn’t get any easier than that guys.

    It is time for owners, GM’s and head coaches to say thanks but no thanks to these guys with criminal records and letting them into the NFL.

    The time is NOW for head coaches to STOP the fighting at camp and making it CLEAR to these college educated knuckleheads that you are a team and the offense and defense are BOTH needed to win in the NFL.

    The Jets should have had Enemkpali arrested for battery with injury and prosecuted him. MAKE AN EXAMPLE for others NOT to follow!!!!!!

  7. Hopefully, Rex left that 6th grade mentality in the Jets locker room and didn’t bring that to Buffalo.

  8. What will Goodell come up with now to even the playing field between the Jets and Patriots? Maybe hide some yellowcake in Belichick’s toiletries case and report him to the IAEA? He is just the best commissioner ever.

  9. Picking up Fitzpatrick now seems like a very important acquisition for the Jets. Next man up!

  10. I remember back in ’89 when, in the Meadowlands, Joe Klecko sacked Jim Kelly, stood over him as he swirled around on the ground in severe pain and the crowd cheered. Screw the Jets. Yes, I’m a Bills fan.

  11. Future PFT headline: “Former NFL player IK Enemkpali arrested for (insert crime here)”.

  12. 6th Rounder takes out own QB with 1 punch…lol. NYJ’s bad draft picks continue to expose that joke of a franchise. Even Cleaveland has more class than the Jets. Well, they still aren’t as bad as the trough of the NFL, the Patricheats.

  13. Guarantee no one else picks this guy up. It’s one thing to get in a fight during competitive practice sessions, it’s another to sucker punch the teams starting QB in the locker room. What a punk.

  14. Sad thing is Jests fans are probably dancing in the streets with this news. No matter, the harvard qb wont beat the Pats and one-read Petty cant get it done in big games.

  15. Cutting this fool was an obvious decision but he should have been in handcuffs and escorted out of the locker room by police. That wasn’t a heated exchange by two guys on the football field. That was assault and battery/workplace violence. Go ahead, break a coworker’s jaw with a punch and see what happens to you. Fights on the field can happen but this goes way beyond that.

  16. If this is as one sided as it sounds, what are the chances for criminal charges? If I’m Geno Smith I’m not satisfied with just his career, take his freedom as well.

  17. Wow, I mean this could have ruined geno smith. Like he was a fringe starter as it is, and injury can accelerate the time table on those guys.nif this ends his career, he has quite the lawsuit he can pursue.

  18. ajg314 says:
    Aug 11, 2015 2:14 PM

    How pathetic that the haters can’t line up fast enough to pile on. Even though the haters will still spit out their hate, this has nothing to do with the team and everything to do with one dumb player who evidently is stupid enough to punch his starting quarterback. Seriously stupid.

    *************
    Welcome to my world. I hear you man. Loud and clear. Haters pounce before knowing the whole story. It’s the world we live in.

    – Pats fan

  19. A vicious and stupid punch
    Keeps the QB from eating his lunch
    That this awful Jets curse
    Will mean 6 and 10, or worse
    Is more than a spurious hunch.

  20. I need to know how the room reacted.

    If about 12 linemen starting just crushing this guy I’ll say this is a IK problem…otherwise, the Jets still got some”culture work” to do.

    I played with some bad QB’s in high school but I’d have dropped a teacher where he stood if I felt he took it to far with my QB. I’m shocked IK could even walk out of the locker room.

  21. If this is as one sided as it sounds, what are the chances for criminal charges? If I’m Geno Smith I’m not satisfied with just his career, take his freedom as well.
    ————
    Doubtful he would do any jail time. Probation and a fine is all he would get since there were no weapons involved.

  22. Jets are a dysfunctional rag tag outfit and have to wonder who the next clown will be after Richardson and Enemkpali. Stay tuned for another meltdown season. On the positive side, it’s fitting that they’re paired with the worst fans in the NFL.

  23. Rex Ryan could use another locker room sucker puncher on his team up in Buffalo. Put him in the locker next to Percy.

  24. ” Very thickly built. Flashes shock and violence in his punch”. This is at the beginning of his NFL.Com draft info. I kid you not…

  25. Welcome to the Ryan Fitzpatrick expiriment part 5. Ask Houston, Buffalo, Tennessee and Cincy how well that worked out for them. Brandon Marshall.. Any words of Wisdom. Probably miss Jay just a little bit now.. Get ready for Career lows.

  26. This hurts the other teams in the AFC East due to Geno playing for the Jets was the best advantage all the other teams had. Geno is terrible and has had personality problems his entire career, just another bad Jets QB.

  27. Pretty sure it was something petty like Geno liking one of IK’s girlfriend pics on Instagram. lol

  28. People forget many of these guys have the maturity( and intellect) of 4th graders so it is unrealistic to expect them to behave like 6th graders.

  29. Actions and attitudes are a direct reflection of leadership.

    How high do you want to go with that statement: Geno, coordinators, the head coach, GM, the team owner?

    It’s deafening silence

  30. Youth and immaturity is not an excuse for assaulting a police officer. I’m so tired of these morons using immaturity as some kind of emotional crutch. The fact that the cop was undercover makes it worse. What on earth were you up to when you had an altercation with an undercover cop? This was a pretty big red flag here. I’m not sure what the Jets were thinking when they drafted him. It’s like the Hernandez situation is in everyone’s rearview.

  31. The kid sounds awfully angry, but then again who wouldn’t be with a name like IK Enemkpali.

    Just having tot spell or pronounce it for every teacher or coach he ever had would drive me nutts.

  32. What an idiot. You can suckerpunch anyone on the team: BUT NOT THE QUARTERBACK! “I’d like to order a quarter-pounder with cheese, medium fries and a chocolate milkshake?” (to the increasingly-imminent Burger King cashier IK Enemkpali).

  33. isn’t it gonna be really hard for geno to keep his conditioning up with a wired jaw? like even non-athletic people lose 20 pounds from that

  34. What we don’t know is who said what to whom?

    Can’t justify the violent punch by IK but the comment, “It’s something very childish that sixth graders could have talked about,” makes me wonder what Geno may have said that made IK so angry?

    It’s all fun and games in the locker room until someone’s jaw gets broken.

  35. Where was everyone else in the locker room while this was going on? Why didn’t the offensive players throw a blanket party and beat this guy senseless? I hope they press charges. This guy sounds like a real knucklehead. It sure seems like he learned from his previous assault to me. I’m going to predict prison in IK’s future after he finishes playing with the Cowboys.

  36. How crazed would you have to be to sucker punch the starting QB while trying to make the team? At least the incident in college you could imagine the guy having been drunk or something at the time. But this makes him sound like a total lunatic. Pity the people who are around the guy all the time.

  37. granadafan says:
    Aug 11, 2015 3:55 PM
    Is his name pronounced “Ike” or “Ick”?
    ___________________________

    I believe its “eye-kay” …. He should have been cut for that reason alone.

  38. Don’t understand all the morons screaming for Geno to sue him. His McDonalds job won’t even cover Geno’s attorneys fees.

  39. Geno is the Character risk. You got a guy on your team that you stiff for a camp for what ever reason and don’t pay him back. Geno is a starting QB yet he let a tryout guy pay for his ticket. Never should have happened that way. Obviously $600 meant a lot more to Ik then Geno who should have millions stashed away.

    Geno is the Character flaw if you ask me.

  40. They may discover that Ik did the Jets a HUGE favor and should never have cut him. Instead give him a locker right next to the QB in order to insure he never sees the field.

  41. Michael Vick is available isn’t he? It must suck to be a J-E-T-S fan? Hahaha…..

  42. What’s worse is that the Jets would have not cut IK Enemkpali if he’d hit a woman instead of Geno. That’s what the NFL has become. It’s nice to know that the NFL has its priorities straight.

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