NFL and the law
Von Miller -- Failing to appear in court
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller was arrested in August on a warrant for failing to appear in court for a 2012 traffic ticket in Arapahoe County, Colorado. He has since paid the fine, but not all is well as Miller is currently serving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Miller has a history with substance abuse issues. In 2011, he tested positive several times for marijuana and an undisclosed amphetamine.
Aldon Smith -- Suspicion of DUI and possession of marijuana
Aldon Smith was arrested on Sept. 20 on suspicion of driving under the influence. The all pro outside linebacker, who has a history of off-the-field incidents, was booked into Santa Clara County jail on charges of DUI and possession of marijuana. He was held on $5,250 bail. But he showed up to practice that afternoon and head coach Jim Harbaugh said he expects Smith to play Sunday against the Colts.
Eric Wright -- DUI
Current 49ers cornerback Eric Wright (Archbishop Riordan High School) was arrested on July 12 on a misdemeanor charge for driving under the influence. The 2007 second-round draft pick had a previous DUI charge against him in 2012, but that charge was dropped. After the arrest, Wright was released by the Buccaneers and signed a one-year deal with the 49ers. He is currently on the reserve/NFL list and is not eligible to return until after the first six weeks of the season.
Matt Russell -- DUI
On July 6, Denver Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell (pictured) was arrested for driving under the influence (.246 blood-alcohol level), careless driving resulting in injury, and failure to prove current insurance. A month earlier, Broncos director of pro personnel Tom Heckert (not pictured) was arrested on June 11 for registering a blood-alcohol level of .162. Both directors of personnel were suspended, but have since been reinstated by the Broncos.
Dan Connor -- Weapon charges
New York Giants linebacker Dan Connor was arrested the morning of July 6, 2013 for possession of an offensive weapon. While going through security at Philadelphia International Airport, Connor was stopped for having a switchblade in his luggage. He was quoted afterward saying, "I was flying out to a wedding in Pittsburgh and had something in my bag, a pocket knife that I didn't even know about.” He was not suspended, but he injured his neck in the first game of the Giants season and is now on injured reserve.
Aaron Hernandez -- Murder
On June 26, 2013, the former New England Patriots tight end was arrested on accounts of first-degree murder and gun charges. The former Florida Gator fell to the fourth round of the 2010 draft because of his off-the-field issues, which included marijuana use, gang affiliations, questions about a 2007 shooting and a 2007 restaurant fight.
Mike Goodson -- Multiple charges
Former Raiders running back Mike Goodson was arrested on May 17, 2013 for unlawful possession of a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of hollow-point bullets. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. In 2012 with the Raiders, Goodson ran the ball 35 times for 221 yards.
Quentin Groves -- Soliciting prostitution
Former Oakland Raider and current Cleveland Browns linebacker Quentin Groves was arrested for soliciting prostitution on April 17, 2013 during the Browns’ minicamp. Groves has played in both of the Browns' first two games this season, recording two tackles and a sack.
Titus Young -- Multiple charges
Former NFL wide receiver Titus Young was charged with four felonies and seven misdemeanors after being arrested in San Clemente, CA in May. The 23-year old was arrested after reportedly running from police and putting up a fight when they tried to detain him. He was charged with attempted burglary, assault of a police officer and resisting arrest. Young stayed busy on May 5, 2013, as he was arrested twice that day. The first arrest was for suspicion of drunk driving in the morning. The second arrest was later that afternoon for allegedly trying to retrieve his impounded Ford Mustang.
Brandon Barden -- DUI
Former Tennessee Titans tight end Brandon Barden had two run-ins with police this offseason a month apart. On Feb. 23, 2013, Barden, drunk, lost control of his truck, flipping it onto its side. The case was later dismissed after the arresting officer failed to appear for the court date. A month later, on March 23, 2013, Barden was arrested on suspicion of DUI after his car went off the road in Georgia. On Aug. 30 he was cut by the Titans.
Da'Quan Bowers -- Gun charges
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers was arrested on Feb. 18, 2013 for bringing a loaded .40 caliber firearm to the flight check-in counter at LaGuardia Airport. He was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, but has played in both games this year for the Buccaneers.
Davone Bess -- Drugs/assault
In one of the more awkward, outlandish recent legal stories, Davone Bess was arrested in Jan. 2014 for "acting irrationally" -- singing and dancing with his pants falling down. When he was confronted by a police officer, Bess took his shirt off and got in a fighter's stance. He was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence. Ten months prior, Bess was restrained by six deputies in his home on drug suspicion. According to the police report, he was screaming, “Hide the guns!” “Where is my weed?” and “I want to get in the end zone; throw me the football!”
Ray Rice -- Domestic violence
In Feb. 2014, Ravens running back Ray Rice was charged with domestic violence/simple assault following an altercation in the elevator with his then fiancee at Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Video footage was released of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator after they assaulted each other at the casino, according to police. Rice and his fiancee, Janay Palmer, got married a day after he was arraigned.
Chris Culliver -- Hit-and-run
Culliver was taken into custody on March 28, and charged with one felony and two misdemeanors stemming from a hit-and-run accident. Police said that his vehicle hit a bicyclist while crossing an intersection. After being cornered by a witness, Culliver threatened the eyewitness with brass knuckles before fleeing the scene, hitting the witness' vehicle as he attempted to drive away. If convicted, it carries a prison sentence of 16 months, two years or three years.
Robert Mathis -- PED
Though there were no legal repercussions, Indianapolis Colts OLB Robert Mathis tested positive and was suspended four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The positive drug, Clomid, is known as a women’s infertility drug, but “can also help men with a hormonal imbalance” by blocking the estrogen receptors, thereby blocking estrogen in male’s bodies, according to WebMD. The drug is generally used post-testosterone/steroid cycle. Mathis tallied a career-high 19.5 sacks in 2013, eight more than his previous high of 11.5 sacks.
Greg Hardy -- Assault
Hardy was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault on May 13, 2014. In a complaint for a restraining order, Hardy reportedly threw his girlfriend into a tub, dragged her across the floor by her hair and lifted and threw her onto a couch “covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns”. Hardy reportedly also stated that he would kill the woman, while he “bragged that all of those assault rifles were loaded”. On Friday May 16, 2014, Hardy turned over 10 guns to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Hardy posted $17k bail and was released pending further investigation.