Former NFL players having a harder time staying out of trouble

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The news that current NFL players have found a way to stay out of trouble comes with a curious footnote: For whatever reason, a rash of former or otherwise not currently employed players have been finding trouble in recent days.

It started with former NFL receiver Davone Bess, who could have ended up with much more than a dog bite on his arm after a lengthy standoff with police in Arizona.

Then came former NFL tight end Richard Gordon. He was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. The far more troubling news came from the reality that he had an AR-15 in his car and harbored plans to shoot up a strip club.

Next was former NFL cornerback Stanley Wilson II, who was shot while both trying to break into a home and naked. (Apparently, he visited other homes before he happened upon a homeowner who also owns a gun.)

The week was capped by free-agent NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson allegedly pointing a gun at his wife and threatening to kill her. Jackson was freed on $2,500 bond, a decision that hopefully came after the relevant authorities concluded that Jackson would do harm neither to his wife nor anyone else.

Maybe it’s just a fluke occurrence, a confluence of bizarre events that happened all in the same week. Regardless, it should be cause for concern for the league. The events become newsworthy for obvious reasons; the men accused of wrongdoing played in the NFL, so the NFL gets mentioned every time something like this happens.

Surely, resources are available to help former players who need it. First they need to want the help. And then they need to know specifically how to get the help.

Hopefully the guys who were arrested last week will get the help they need, along with any other former NFL players who may otherwise be destined for a similar outcome.

23 responses to “Former NFL players having a harder time staying out of trouble

  1. You left out Joseph Randle, former starting RB for the Cowboys. He was arrested for failing to appear in court for previous arrests & charges.

  2. You have 52 players on 32 NFL teams plus practice squad and injury reserve – let’s say 65 players total.

    That’s 2,080.

    Also, let’s account for the players that bounce around from team-to-team and those who are perennial training camp cuts.

    Four former players being arrested in a month is less than a percentage of the NFL population.

  3. When you have a fraternity that large with that many members, odds are in favor of at least a few running into trouble. Nothing to see here.

  4. I very much doubt that.
    He obviously carried around the AR-15 for personal protection.

    >.Then came former NFL tight end Richard Gordon. He was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. The far more troubling news came from the reality that he had an AR-15 in his car and harbored plans to shoot up a strip club.

  5. Goodell should suspend them.
    No wait, he can’t do that.

    Ok – take away their retirement benefits.
    No wait, he can’t do that.

    Uh, hmm, hold his breath and turn blue in the face?
    Ok, that he can do.

    >>Maybe it’s just a fluke occurrence, a confluence of bizarre events that happened all in the same week. Regardless, it should be cause for concern for the league. The events become newsworthy for obvious reasons; the men accused of wrongdoing played in the NFL, so the NFL gets mentioned every time something like this happens.

  6. Hopefully the guys who were arrested last week will get the help they need, along with any other former members of the media who may otherwise be destined for a similar outcome.

  7. Can we please just stop the madness?

    My former employers have NO obligation to make sure I stay out of trouble and that my life goes in the right direction.

    That is up to ME.

    When you move on from PFT are they going to have any obligation to you?

    America can we please start trying to be responsible adults?

  8. Yea lets help these poor souls. It’s not enough that they were set up with more money then any of us will ever dream of having. They had counselors throughout their football careers at the ready to assist with any questions they may have had. Seminars galore teaching them how to deal with life outside of football. But yea, lets all join the plea to help these poor souls. Give me a break. Most of the troubles in this world can be solved with 2 words; Personal Accountability.

  9. If current players were making these headlines then these former players would’ve gone unmentioned. It’s an industry in itself it seems.

  10. I’m sure it was racist police officers, job stress, the socio-economics of the areas they were living, the Bush administration, and other minor factors they will blame for their criminal behavior.

  11. I’m sure the NFL PA is doing a bang-up job of taking care of their former members…

  12. The omg-this-needs-to-change-like-yesterday stereotype that seeking help for mental health issues makes you weak is something that stops most people who end up doing major damage to themselves and others from getting help.

    Wake up, society. That stigma has to go. These pro athletes for one are “too macho” to go sit on a couch and talk to someone about problems with feelings, one of the omst important of which is feeling too macho for important things.

  13. You can take the player out of the hood….

    These guys were given a golden ticket to escape their former lives. Heck, they were given the ticket the day they left for “college”. They got out. They were exposed to a different life of fame and class. They were given the means to build a different life and pull family/ friends out. They allegedly received an education. Then they threw it all away.

  14. The NFL is a factory for producing criminals. You throw millions of dollars and attention at men that have the intellect of two year olds and then once the game is over for them and the media attention fades their little brains get them into trouble.

  15. 15 years ago I did a study of Football players versus hockey players from the NFL vs NHL.

    The rate of arrest was significantly higher in the NFL.

    I summerized it was due to the high cost of hockey as a youth compared to that of football.

    With the high cost of hockey and the lack of available rinks to practice on. Parental supervision is needed for money and travel and two parent homes had a higher degree of making this happen,

    Two parents, twice the discipline better upbringing more responsible atheletes

  16. I don’t think it’s the NFL, it’s the nature of the game of foot ball. You want tough aggressive men playing it. When they are too old, they are still tough aggressive men, so they act the way they’ve always acted. I see professional entertainers and other sports players squandering money and having drug problems. But football is so physical that only the toughest survive. And they remain tough once they leave.

    >.pastanow says:
    Jun 27, 2016 11:06 AM
    The NFL is a factory for producing criminals. You throw millions of dollars and attention at men that have the intellect of two year olds and then once the game is over for them and the media attention fades their little brains get them into trouble.

  17. These guys are learning the hard way that when you are a former player you no longer get a free pass. If the NFL is serious about cleaning up its image they are going to have to do a lot more to keep players with a criminal history out of the league.

  18. Possibly. More likely is that we all are having a hard time staying out of everyone’s business these days.

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