Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler’s arrest for simple battery and criminal mischief is not the first arrest of his NFL career. Just the first that has been publicly reported.
Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Fowler was arrested in March 2016 for assault against a police officer/EMT and resisting arrest without violence. Those charges were dropped in December 2016, apparently because he completed an intervention program for first-time offenders. The arrest was never reported in the media and there was never any indication that he faced any discipline from the NFL or the Jaguars.
That previous arrest means Fowler wouldn’t be eligible for another intervention program for first-time offenders. It also makes it more likely that he’ll face NFL discipline.
Fowler’s March 2016 arrest came as the NFL was reviewing a video that showed Fowler seeming to stand by and watch as his girlfriend and ex-girlfriend engaged in a physical fight. Fowler was never disciplined for that incident, either.
The Jaguars made Fowler the third overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. He missed his entire rookie year with a torn ACL. In 2016 he played in all 16 games, starting one and recording four sacks.