What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- 49ers LB Aldon Smith detained at LAX airport
- 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick under investigation for sexual assault
- LeSean McCoy would pick his 2-year-old over Tebow for a team
- Chad Johnson is still trying to resurrect his playing career
- Browns contract to Alex Mack my drive price up for Steelers to re-sign Pouncey
Unfortunately it seems that during the NFL offseason player arrests are just about as common as free agency signings. The latest incident involves a player who is not necessarily a stranger to incidents. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was detained at the airport in Los Angeles after he indicated that he was in possession of a bomb while in the security line. That’s pretty much the top of the list of things not to say whilst in a security line in the airport. According to ESPN, Smith was belligerent and uncooperative during the security screening and made a comment about carrying a bomb. Smith pleaded guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon in November, from an incident at a party at his home in 2012. During the season last year Smith missed 5 games after he admitted himself into an alcohol treatment center right after being arrested for drunk driving for a second time. A reasonable person would think that this would warrant some discipline from the league, but the NFL hasn’t suspended anyone for offseason arrests or incidents under their personal conduct policy since Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for 6 games (reduced to 4) in 2010. This smells to me like the league is going to take another passive stance, like they have with so many other incidents, and let the “legal system” work its way on this.
The 49ers aren’t having the greatest PR week apparently as earlier last week their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was named in a sexual assault investigation in Miami. Kaepernick’s name came up in the investigation along with his teammate Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette and, per the report, comes from accusations of a woman who claimed to have spent an evening with the three men and then woke up in the hospital not knowing how she got there. This is just the beginning stages of the investigation, but already the 49ers are saying they’re going to go ahead and let the legal system play out and not do a thing either.
Apparently TMZ has a sports division. I did not know that was a thing. And a TMZ Sports reporter’s job apparently is to stalk the athletes out and about and ask them odd questions, hoping for a newsworthy response. One such reporter apparently caught up with Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and Tim Tebow’s name came up. The reporter asked McCoy who he thought was the most talented football player without a team and threw Tebow’s name out there as an example. McCoy responded by saying that he’d pick his 2-year-old son for a team ahead of Tebow. Ouch. What kind of pads do you put on a 2-year-old?
What do you do if you’re an attention-starved NFL washout who can’t get a team to give him another shot? You go to a Canadian football team, of course. Former incredibly average NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson is meeting with the Montreal Alouettes this week for a tryout. I wonder who is going to tell him that playing Canadian football isn’t exactly the way to go about staying relevant in the NFL.
The Cleveland Browns made Alex Mack the highest paid center in the NFL when they matched the 5-year, $42 million offer sheet the Jacksonville Jaguars extended. This could complicate things for the Steelers, who have Maurkice Pouncey entering into the last year of his contract. Mack has made two Pro Bowls since being drafted by the Browns in 2009 where Pouncey made the Pro Bowl in his first 3 seasons in the NFL. Pouncey is due just less than $2 million this season with a $3 million roster bonus. There has been no talk that the Steelers have begun contract negotiations with Pouncey yet even though they have a history of extending some players during their last year of their contracts, before the regular season starts.