Does the NFL have an arrest problem?
On Saturday, Giants LB and Delaware County native Dan Conner was reportedly arrested at Philadelphia International Airport, after allegedly packing a switchblade in his luggage.
According to reports, he was later released, but his arrest becomes just the most recent example of a problem plaguing the NFL this off-season.
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez - arrested and charged with murder. Colts S Joe Lefeged - arrested for carrying an unregistered pistol. Browns rookie LB Ausar Walcott - charged with attempted murder after allegedly punching someone outside a club. The list goes on an on.
There have been 34 current or former NFL players arrested since the Super Bowl (the San Diego Union-Tribune's database hasn't been updated yet to note Conner's arrest).
According to labor economist Stephen Bronars, off-season arrests among NFL players are up a staggering 75 percent from last year. On average, 0.78 NFL players are arrested per team per offseason.
Some interesting stats from Bronars' analysis:
- Wide Receivers accounted for more than 1 out of 6 arrests
- Cornerbacks accounted for about 1 out of 7 arrests
- Linebackers accounted for 1 out of 8 arrests
- Punters and Kickers accounted for 1 out of 67 arrests
- Offensive Guards accounted for only 1 out of 107 arrests
- Arrest rates for the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans are about double the NFL average
Can anything be done to stem this increase in arrests? Bronars suggests punishing teams that exceed the average number of player arrests by taking away draft picks or salary cap space could disincentive them to acquiring risky players.
In terms of arrests, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says "one is too many." Let's see if they bother to do anything about it. Just like the Vet, Lincoln Financial Field had a jail inside the stadium, but was done away with as rowdy fans stopped acting so unruly.
At this rate, teams across the league might follow Philly's example and consider opening jails in their own stadiums. Not for fans, but for players.