The Indianapolis Colts have generally prided themselves on having high character players. They are generally a team with integrity and a low arrest rate. But those notions have been challenged in the past few weeks.
Today we learned that D’Qwell Jackson was arrested for assaulting a pizza delivery guy over a parking spot. Jackson is currently in Washington D.C.
The delivery man wasn’t seriously hurt, he was treated at the scene and not taken to a hospital. Jackson was charged with simple assault, the penalty for which is $1,000 fine and/or up to 180 days imprisonment. Expect Jackson to be fined the maximum and participate in community service.
While this incident is considered minor, Jackson is a leader on the team’s defense and setting a bad example for younger players. Unfortunately, he isn’t alone in the linebacking corps when it comes to violating the law.
Since the week before the AFC Championship game, two other Colts have been arrested and another was suspended.
Rookie linebacker Andrew Jackson was arrested on DUI charges in Kentucky a week after the season ended for the Colts. It was his second DUI in a year after he had been arrested in Muncie, Ind. in June.
Most seriously, Josh McNary was arrested on rape charges just days before the AFC Championship game. McNary pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a tentative trial date of March 19th. He was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list for the time being.
There are also the details surrounding the suspension of running back Trent Richardson in the middle of the playoffs. We still don’t know what happened, but the suspension is apparently enough for the Colts to void the rest of Richardson’s contract and cut him without having to pay his $3-plus million contract.
To a lesser extent, we also saw rookie tackle Xavier Nixon miss the team flight to the AFC Championship game.
Since 2012, the Colts have had just seven players arrested but that is above the league average of five arrests per team (according to USA Today’s Database).
Of those seven arrests, five have been alcohol related, four of which were DUIs. Aside from the fact that all NFL players make a minimum of $435,000, which is more than enough to hire a cab, the league also entered into a partnership with Uber back in 2013. All players receive a $200 credit with the car service.
Basically, there is zero excuse to suffer a DUI if you are in the NFL.
There have been nine arrests in 2015 across the NFL. A third of those players are on the Colts. This is a disturbing trend we are seeing from players on the Colts roster. It shows a lack of leadership, especially when one of the team’s supposed leaders can’t keep his cool.
While I fully expect Jackson to return to the team next season, it wouldn’t be surprising if some the others are cut even before training camp. The Colts should consider sending a message to the rest of the team that this sort of behavior is unacceptable and that there will be very real consequences.
The Colts aren’t the only team to go through issues right now though. Front offices across the league fear the offseason. The downtime between the end of the playoffs and minicamp leaves players without structure.
Hopefully, the Colts won’t see anymore players arrested in the near future. This is one statistic they don’t want to lead the NFL in.