NFL arrest season kicks off in style

819319.jpg

NFL arrest season kicks off in style

You might think this is midsummer. Or the start of the second half of the baseball season. Or maybe the final push of the Tour de France.

Well, youd be wrong.

What this really is, friends, is NFL arrest season.

Its become an annual rite of July. After OTAs finish and before training camp approaches, cops get busy pulling over NFL players -- most of whom have decided to save the cab fare and slip behind the wheel when theyre drunk. Though sometimes they decide to do other stupid stuff, like beat up people -- including family members.

To be truthful, almost every month is NFL arrest season. But there seems to be a flurry of activity as players see the monotony and pain of training camp approaching.

Marshawn Lynch was arrested on Saturday night in Oakland for driving under the influence. He signed a 31 million contract in March, which means he probably could afford a car service. It was Lynchs third run-in with the law in just over four years.

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was also arrested on Saturday, for domestic violence after allegedly attacking his mother. Reports say that Bryant grabbed his mother by the hair, ripped her shirt and slapped her face. Not exactly the stuff of a Campbells Chunky Soup commercial.

Other arrests include Adrian Peterson, who was charged with resisting arrest, rookie Justin Blackmon who was arrested on aggravated DUI -- three times the legal limit, Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil for road rage, Eagles running back Dion Lewis for falsely reporting a fire and Detroit defensive end Nick Fairley -- for the second time in two months -- for DUI.

And then theres the 49ers Aldon Smith, who got his DUI arrest out of the way early in the offseason, in January, but capped off a disturbing offseason by getting stabbed at a house party. Back in April Darrius Heyward Bey was arrested for a DUI.

There are so many NFL arrests that the San Diego Union Tribune has its own NFL arrest database, dating back to 2000. Plug in the name of your favorite player and see if hes been arrested and what the charges are. According to the database, 19 players have been arrested since Super Bowl Sunday to June 23rd, though theres a lot of updating to do in the past few weeks and that window doesnt include some 2012 arrests including Smiths.

So hows that whole new sheriff thing working out for you, Roger Goodell?

The NFL is Americas most popular sport, by far. Advertisers flock to it. Everyone wants to be associated with it. But the league is clearly doing an extremely poor job of educating and controlling its players especially when it comes to not getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. These ongoing arrests are an embarrassment to Commissioner Goodell and his get-tough policy. He has fined players, suspended players, but still the message isnt getting across.

Whats the solution? Longer training camps? Year-round contracts? Free car service for every player in the league? Mandatory classes on behaving like a mature adult?

The solution isnt obvious. But the NFL has the money and the resources to figure out some sort of solution to this ongoing, embarrassing problem.

In the meantime, be warned: its NFL arrest season. You might want to stay off the streets until training camp begins.

Freelance writer Ann Killion is a regular contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.

Mayor Schaaf on Raiders relocation: 'Oakland has something no other city ever will'

Mayor Schaaf on Raiders relocation: 'Oakland has something no other city ever will'

The Oakland Raiders have officially filed for relocation to Las Vegas. And Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has responded. 

“It’s no surprise that the Raiders have filed for relocation," Schaaf said in a statement. "Oakland welcomes the chance to show them and the NFL’s other owners why Oakland is the only home for the Raiders and always will be.

“Our winning team of the Lott Group, the County and my colleagues on the Oakland City Council has accomplished so much in the last few months. We’ve identified the mechanisms to responsibly finance public infrastructure improvements, we have in the Lott Group a private partner prepared to finance stadium construction, and we have an entitled site for a world-class NFL stadium and new development that enhances fan experience while invigorating East Oakland's economy. 

“But this isn’t all Oakland has to offer. Oakland’s Raiders stadium will be on the most transit-accessible site in the nation, in the sixth largest television market, and in one of the wealthiest and most innovative regions in the world. But above all else, Oakland has something no other city ever will -- a die-hard fan base that is loyal and true to the Raiders and wants to see them stay here in Oakland where they were founded. Only Oakland brings the Raiders and the NFL a competitive stadium proposal, along with legacy and loyalty.

“I look forward to the League giving our team a chance to compete.”

Now that the fate of the Raiders' relocation is in the hands of the NFL owners, a vote could come at the NFL owners meetings in late March. It’s uncertain whether Davis has the votes needed to relocate, but there has been momentum building for such a move over the past several months.

Davis has said that, even if the Raiders are approved for relocation, he plans on playing in Oakland the next few years while a Las Vegas stadium is built. The team has already sent out season ticket pricing to fans for the 2017 season. The Raiders have one-year team options to play Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The Las Vegas stadium isn’t expected to be ready until the 2020 season.

The Office of the Mayor Libby Schaaf and Scott Bair contributed to this report.

 

McKenzie still not over Raiders playoff loss, striving 'to hold up the trophy'

McKenzie still not over Raiders playoff loss, striving 'to hold up the trophy'

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie acknowledged being named the NFL’s executive of the year was a big deal. It’s the highest individual honor bestowed on a personnel man.

Not in McKenzie’s eyes. His name’s on the plaque, but the general manger considers it a team honor. It takes a village to raise a roster, something McKenzie knows after working through the ranks.

“The acknowledgement, to me, is for the organization, from the top down,” McKenzie said. “From the patience and the vision together with me and (owner Mark Davis) on through the work, the daily work of the coaches and players and to play on Sunday. That’s what the acknowledgement is really all about.

“You see the entire organization working together to win. That’s what I see. It’s an accomplishment from the standpoint that we’re winning now. That’s what I feel good about. That’s why this award is special. It’s a team award, but it’s special to me that this thing is resulting into wins.”

The Raiders went 12-4 in 2016 and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season. That postseason experience was not positive. The Raiders got waxed in Houston, completing a brutal two-loss stretch where an AFC West title was lost and the season formally ended.

The downward spiral started in Week 16, after quarterback Derek Carr broke his fibula. Backup Matt McGloin played poorly and then hurt his shoulder the next game, which forced the Raiders to start rookie Connor Cook against Houston.

A loss seemed likely – Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn was also sidelined – but that didn’t make it easier for McKenzie to handle.

“Well, I’m still getting over it, (likely) until I win my next game,” McKenzie said. “It’s tough anytime you lose your last game. It’s going to eat at you and that’s one thing about being a player, being associated in this, it’s the drive for the next game. What can I do to help us win that next game? And that’s the hope we have now, is the opportunity to play again, you know? Albeit, in ’17, but that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to set the course for this ’17 season. So, it’s going to eat at you until then.”

It’s that drive that pushed McKenzie during difficult times, when talent piled up but didn’t translate to wins. Seeing the fruits of that labor is incredibly gratifying for McKenzie and staff. This award is part of that – to the victor go the spoils – though the end goal remains out of reach and will until the Raiders win a Super Bowl.

“Nobody likes losing, so I get that. If you really believe in what you’re doing and you’re supported, the hope is to start to win games, and to get to the playoffs is a step,” McKenzie said. “We feel good about that, but we’re only scratching the surface. We still want to hold up the trophy. That’s what we’re going to continue to strive to do. That’s our next step. We need to win playoff games.”