NFL Free Agents 2011: Michael Bush and 5 FAs Whose Offseason Arrests Really Hurt
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Free agents in the NFL are not yet able to sign with teams, but that has not stopped the five players on this list from severely hurting their value.
All of the players on this list were arrested for one reason or another, and now find themselves part of a competitive free agency class with a big "proceed with caution" label on them.
For most of these players their arrest won't keep them off the field because they will not have to serve any jail time. Instead what will keep them off an NFL roster and off the field is the character issue that an arrest shows.
Often times players like this can be a cancer in the locker room, and because of that, teams don't want them anywhere near their players.
The following slideshow features five players who are free agents and were arrested in the offseason, and how their value has changed.
As always feel free to comment below with your own personal opinion.
Michael Bush: Driving While Intoxicated
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Michael Bush, a running back from the Oakland Raiders, was pulled over on February 12th and was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated.
Bush was arrested around 4:30 a.m. by the Indiana State Police with a blood alcohol content of 0.11, according to WDRB.
The incident took place in Jacksonville, Ind., which is right across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky., where Bush went to college.
Michael Bush: What It Means
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Despite the arrest, all signs point towards Michael Bush returning to the Oakland Raiders again next season.
Bush scored eight touchdowns on 158 carries last year for over 600 yards.
Bush was a solid one-two punch with Darren McFadden on a Raiders' team that was one of the best at running the ball last season.
The main reason the Raiders may be willing to take the chance on Bush is that he actually blew a .07 when he was pulled over, which is below the legal limit. The .11 was when he arrived at the jail.
Mario Henderson: Carrying a Concealed Firearm
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Mario Henderson, backup left tackle for the Oakland Raiders, was arrested on March 17 and charged with carrying a concealed firearm according to NBC 2.
Henderson was pulled over for playing music too loud and when asked if he had a weapon in the car he said yes in his glove-box. The officer then discovered that the gun was not in the glove-box but rather between the driver's seat and the center console.
In a slightly comical twist to the story, Henderson was too tall to sit in the back of the patrol car, and was given the option of lying down in the car or walking to the police station. He choose the back of the car.
Mario Henderson: What It Means
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Henderson started seven games for the Raiders last year before losing his spot to rookie Jared Veldheer.
It seems as though Henderson likely won't be back in Oakland next season, but I would be surprised if he didn't latch on to another team.
There are not very many veteran offensive linemen who have started games before and are free agents, and some team will add Henderson to their roster in case one of their starters gets hurt.
Before the incident I would have said Henderson had a chance at starting somewhere at the beginning of next season, but after this arrest he will have to really earn a starting job.
Johnny Jolly: Possession of Codeine
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Johnny Jolly, a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, was arrested on March 25 and charged with possession of codeine according to CBS Houston.
Jolly was actually arrested before on the same charge and was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2010 season.
With over 600 grams of the controlled substance on him, Jolly was also charged with intent to distribute, which is a felony.
Johnny Jolly: What It Means
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Jolly is the one player on this list who will actually not be able to get on the field because he is likely headed to jail.
With this being his second offense, and the NFL already suspending him once, I imagine a second suspension will come, but that won't matter as no one is going to want Jolly on their team.
Jolly was actually a pretty talented player, and if he could have stayed out of trouble, he could have potentially had a solid NFL career.
Unfortunately he is likely going to go from making millions in the NFL to sitting in a jail cell.
Laurence Maroney: Unlawful Weapon and Drug Charges
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Laurence Maroney, backup running back on the Denver Broncos, was arrested on January 17 and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and drug possession, according to KMOV in St. Louis.
Maroney was in the car with five other men when they were pulled over and found to have three guns and marijuana on them.
The charge for unlawful possession of a weapon was later dropped as Maroney actually had a permit, but the charge for the marijuana is still pending.
Laurence Maroney: What It Means
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Maroney has bigger marks against him than a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana, including a lack of production of late and a failure to avoid injuries.
Maroney only totaled 74 yards last year and no touchdowns for the Denver Broncos.
It seems unlikely that the Broncos will bring back Maroney, but another team may pick him up as their third-string back.
The charge against him shouldn't be what holds him back in the free agency class.
Legedu Naanee: Public Intoxication and Resisting Arrest
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Legedu Naanee, a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers, was arrested on February 12 and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Naanee was arrested in Indianapolis when he came across a crime scene at 3:20 a.m. and was asked to leave by the police but failed to listen.
Naanee was then told he was under arrest, but he attempted to pull away and was then pepper-sprayed.
The best part of the story is that according to police Naanee told them “Do you know who I am? I am an NFL player and I’m going to sue your ass.”
Legedu Naanee: What It Means
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Naanee is actually a solid receiver when healthy and would bring value to a lot of teams in the league.
That being said, I am very sure he won't be back with the Chargers and opposed to being a number three receiver for a team, he will be lucky just to make a roster.
Naanee is now 27 years old and teams may opt for another younger receiver who has a higher upside and less of a rocky past.
To sum it up Naanee's arrest is going to really hurt his chances of playing the the NFL next season.