There’s that one team every season.
Their needs on the field trump any off-the-field misconduct or behavior by a player.
Two years ago it was Washington, last year it was Cleveland, and this year it might be Houston.
In 2018, Washington picked up Rueben Foster three days after his arrest in Tampa, Fla., on domestic violence charges. The charges were later dropped after the prosecutor said there was insufficient evidence.
Last year, the Cleveland Browns picked up Kareem Hunt months after he was caught on video kicking a woman.
You’d think behavior like this would be disqualifying. Not only is it tainting the team brand, but having an abuser in your locker room who doesn’t respect women, or human life, should be enough to say “nope.”
Well, the San Francisco 49ers wiped their hands of Foster quickly before it became a PR issue. The Kansas City Chiefs held on to Hunt as long as they could before the news leaked to the media. This was problematic. The Browns’ welcome-home parade for Hunt shows that some teams can be below the floor when it comes to moral responses to a player’s punk assault on a woman.
The Houston Texans might soon join this shameful list.
After an 0-3 start, Antonio Brown has popped up on the Texans’ radar as a lifeline. Reports are surfacing that the team is interested in both Brown and Earl Thomas because they can’t fill the void on offense and their defense has been lackluster at best.
Brown is currently serving an eight-game suspension for his involvement in various off-the-field sexual assault and harassment accusations by multiple women and a 2-year probation stemming from felony charges. In one of the cases – a civil suit – Wednesday was the final day to produce evidence for the case and one of Brown’s attorneys, Carson Hancock, withdrew from representing him.
This is the type of guy the Texans are apparently interested in.
Thomas was cut by the Ravens a week before the season for missed meetings, not knowing defensive schemes, and the nail in his coffin: a fight with Chuck Clark over a coverage breakdown during practice. There were also rumors of him being the proverbial cancer in the Ravens’ locker room.
In May, Thomas had an incident with his wife where she allegedly chased him and put a gun to his head over cheating.
Eric Reid is still available. If the Texans need a veteran free safety, why not contact Reid? He doesn’t have misconduct lurking in his rearview mirror.
But instead, let the countdown begin to the Thomas and Brown sweepstakes.
When Ray Rice assaulted his fiance his career was instantly over. That should have set the precedent for players thereafter. Unfortunately, it didn’t.
Brown’s legal trouble isn’t a dealbreaker for the Texans? Assaulting a woman on camera was not a hang-up for the Browns?
Too many NFL teams support these types of players, and that’s the most disgusting part of all this.