Dante Fowler Suspended 1 Game for Personal Conduct Violation from Prior Arrest

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2018, file photo, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler (56) runs a drill during NFL football practice in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars declined to exercise the fifth-year option in Fowler’s rookie contract. The decision could mean Fowler, the third overall pick in the 2015 draft who had eight sacks last year, will become a free agent in 2019. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler has been suspended by the NFL for the first game of the 2018 season after violating the league's personal conduct policy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The suspension stems from Fowler's arrest in July 2017. The 23-year-old was charged with simple battery and criminal mischief after allegedly striking a man during a verbal dispute, breaking his glasses and throwing a bag of the man's liquor into a lake.

He pleaded no contest in March and was "placed on probation, given community service and fined as punishment," per Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.

"We were informed today of Dante’s one-game suspension and we will abide by the league’s ruling," Jacksonville's executive vice president of football operations, Tom Coughlin, said in a statement. "We'll work to get Dante ready to play when he is able to return."

Fowler, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, has had legal issues in the past. In March 2016, he was arrested and charged with "assault against a police officer/EMT and resisting arrest without violence," though the charges were ultimately dropped after he underwent a "pretrial intervention program," per DiRocco. 

He also appeared on a video in Feb. 2016 officiating a fight between his girlfriend and his child's mother.

Fowler spoke to the Associated Press last August about his pattern of legal issues:

"I'm not even that type of guy. I'm not an (expletive). I'm not a bad guy. That was a bad decision that I made, and I learned from it. I really did learn from it. It's just something that I'm going to have to show you guys and really the community. I care about the community of Jacksonville. I care about the people that look up to me, and really the kids.

"When they Google my name, I want them to see me making plays. I don’t want them to see my mug shot. I don’t want them to see me on TMZ and bad articles and news reports because that’s really not me."

In the 2017 season, Fowler registered 21 tackles and eight sacks.