I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking the same thing that I think when I wake up every morning. There is nothing to talk about. The Oakland Raiders wrapped up minicamp last week and now…well, let’s just hope that training camp will get here soon because Raider Nation might tear itself apart in the absence of Raiders news.
But you know what? I’ll take it. It means that this shiny new team is focused on the task at hand and is staying out of trouble. I feel your pain though. You can only hear about Lamarr Woodley and Justin Tuck running the hills of San Francisco so many times before you realize you’re just reading about a couple of guys working on their fitness.
As annoying as this no news offseason is, I think it’s great. No one <knocks on wood> on the Raiders’ roster is doing anything stupid like getting arrested or sustaining weird injuries while procuring pizza. To date, there have been 17 arrests during the 2014 offseason, 16 of which were NFL players with one fantastic appearance by a team owner.
Of these arrests, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers are the two teams that are tied with the most arrests, each team logging three offseason arrests. While none of these arrests have repercussions as serious as the notorious 2013 offseason arrest of New England Patriots’ former tight end Aaron Hernandez, they can most definitely become a distraction to the rest of the team.
The first offseason arrest for the Ravens occurred on February 15 in Atlantic City, New Jersey where running back Ray Rice was arrested for a physical altercation with his fiancée Janay Palmer in a hotel’s elevator. The hotel’s surveillance cameras caught Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator. Both parties were charged with simple assault and then released soon after.
Not much later, Rice’s teammate wide receiver Deonte Thompson was arrested on February 21. Thompson was arrested in Gainesville, Florida on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His charges were dropped on April 13. The final Ravens offseason arrest occurred on March 9 when offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested in Key West, Florida for two misdemeanor charges of battery. Apparently, Reid and another man had gotten into a fight with others at a strip club.
Moving on to our cross-town rival, the Niners, we see that they got a pretty early start on the offseason arrests. Offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore was arrested in Kingsport, Tennessee on January 26. He was arrested on charges of public intoxication as he and another man were arrested after being seen staggering on the sidewalk.
He was acquitted of the charges back in April. In that same month, linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested at the Los Angeles International airport. On April 13, Smith allegedly was belligerent to airport security and also indicated that he had a bomb in his possession. This was not Smith’s first arrest. In the past two and a half years, Smith has also been arrested on two separate occasions for DUIs. Last season, Smith was charged with three felony accounts of illegal possession of an assault weapon.
The final Niners’ offseason arrest was of cornerback Chris Culliver who allegedly hit a bicyclist on March 28 in San Jose, California and then fled the scene. The story escalates as a witness attempted to block Culliver from fleeing. Culliver threatened the witness with brass knuckles, got back into his car and then hit the witness’ car as he fled the scene. And people think that the Raiders are thugs??
I have to include Jim Irsay here. I have to! How many times do you hear about the owner of an NFL team misbehaving? The owner of the Indianapolis Colt was arrested on March 17. He was tagged in Carmel, Indiana while driving under the influence and faces four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. Would you look at that? Owners are people too, who knew?
This type of behavior in the offseason makes individual players a distraction to the rest of the team and could potentially overshadow the task at hand. I’m glad to see that the Raiders’ offseason has been quiet despite the fact that it also is infuriating because there is not much to talk about Raiders-wise until training camp begins.
The only news that we’ve heard about the Raiders in the offseason has been about full participation in voluntary activities and seeing new teammates come together to build a camaraderie. So, I know that it’s frustrating because there’s nothing going on, but at the same time, look at it this way, there’s nothing NEGATIVE going on. The Raiders seem to be focused on one thing, bringing W’s back to the Black Hole.