The above quote was allegedly said by Jimmy Smith to a police officer in the second floor bathroom of the Greene Turtle in Towson, Md., Saturday night.
Context aside — in the police report, it notes Smith repeatedly claiming to be helping the woman — that is never a good thing to say to a man in blue. According to the police report, the aforementioned officer asked Smith to leave the bathroom where this woman was sick, however, Smith refused three times. The third time, Smith apparently began swearing at the police officers.
Simply put, if the police report is true, the actions of Smith are not going to help his standing within the Ravens organization. It also somewhat backs them against a wall. Assuming Smith isn’t suspended for this, he will be entering his second to last year under contract for the Ravens. After picking up his team option for 2015 (a right granted to teams for their first round picks), Smith was popularly mentioned as a possible extension candidate.
The police report paints Smith as a detached individual. Detached from reality, at the very least. One would think that, as a multi-million dollar athlete and public figure, actions would come with an extra dose of scrutinization. Instead, the above-the-law behavior Smith exhibited does nothing but paint the Ravens organization negatively, while clouding the character of a player many had deemed as matured.
It should be noted that the report is just that — one side of the story. However, that isn’t to say there haven’t been problems with Smith before.
Coming into the draft, Smith slid due to character concerns. Analysts agreed that he possessed top-15 talent — the size and athleticism combination doesn’t come around often. However, he made bad decisions at Colorado, and had to answer a lengthy list of questions about his past at the combine. The Ravens jumped on the opportunity to draft him at 27th overall, and Smith has been able to keep his name out of the tabloids, until Sunday that is.
The question now facing the Ravens is: what do they do about his contract?
This isn’t the type of incident that, when attached to a prospective investment, screams, “risk-free.” Whether or not Smith knew the woman in the bathroom before that day (he said they had done a photo shoot together that night) is unknown, though police say they have no evidence of such a relationship. That woman was apparently going through a minor cocaine overdose, as the manager of Greene Turtle alerted police to a container with the substance. Regardless, Smith’s proximity to those events is enough cause for concern, and his inability to handle the interaction with officials tactfully only worsens it.
Smith allegedly told a police officer, “The only reason you’re arresting me is so you can get on the news,” later adding, “You will see this on ESPN.” The smiling mugshot adds one more troubling layer to the whole story, in what almost appears to be megalomania.
I mean, honestly… Who looks this happy in a mugshot? Especially knowing he’s about to enter the public spotlight for a bad reason, as his quotes indicate.
If the Ravens don’t extend Smith now, they run the risk of a career-year at the expense of their checkbook. If they extend him now, they run the risk of another, worse incident cropping up in the future. That year of time could be valuable in determining whether or not this is a legitimate risk.
What will the Ravens do? Time will tell, and I imagine as details start to emerge on the happenings, we may have a better idea.