Sean Pendergast

2017 NFL Fantasy Crime League: Ravens Safety Scores Big With Drug Arrest

The Ravens pick up big FCL points just days before possibly losing the perpetrator to free agency.
The Ravens pick up big FCL points just days before possibly losing the perpetrator to free agency. Houston Press
Sometimes, timing is everything. Soon-to-be free agent safety Matt Elam is about to find that out the hard way, after his arrest early Sunday morning on multiple drug charges with some reckless driving (the impetus of the arrest) sprinkled in.

In case you're not up to speed on the Baltimore Ravens of the past few years, Elam was their first-round pick in 2013 after a stellar career as a Florida Gator (Florida being a collegiate breeding ground for future Fantasy Crime League scorers and all). It all started pretty well in the NFL for Elam, as he had a breakout season as a rookie in 2013, starting 15 games for the Ravens.

However, 2014 saw a regression in Elam's level of play, and 2015 saw him miss the entire season with a torn biceps muscle. The Ravens chose not to pick up his fifth-year option heading into the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, and 2016, like the two previous seasons, was difficult for Elam. He was placed on injured reserve in late August, before being reactivated for the final nine games, in which he saw backup duty (with one measly tackle in those nine games).

So, if you're heading into free agency and your career has had a steady, red, downward-pointed arrow next to your name, staying clean of any off-field chicanery would be a fantastic idea. Elam, instead, pushed that red arrow down even further with his arrest early Sunday morning, details courtesy of Pro Football Talk:

According to Miami-Dade police records, Elam was booked at 3:45 a.m. today on charges of possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a controlled substance.

Police say they initially pulled Elam over for reckless driving and found 126 grams of marijuana and three grams of oxycodone in his vehicle.

Here is the screen shot of the police record of the incident, from's Ian Rapoport on Twitter:

Rapoport also confirmed that at least one of the 32 NFL teams is out on the Elam free agency cause this offseason — his current employer, the Baltimore Ravens:

Beyond all of the actual football and personal implications of Elam's arrest, the incident has tightened up what previously appeared to be a nearly insurmountable early lead for the Jets in the 2017 Fantasy Crime League standings. Future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis had notched a 13-point effort in his alleged street fight with some civilians in his hometown in the Pittsburgh area a couple of weeks ago, but this ten-point answer by Elam puts the Ravens right in the thick of the FCL race, and right under the wire for Baltimore as he will no longer be a Raven a couple of weeks from now when free agency begins.


What looked like a runaway last week now has at least two teams that can tell their fans with a straight face that they are "vying for the title." I'm not sure their fans will like that, but still...

The latest Fantasy Crime League standings for 2017:

(Misdemeanor, 1 point per count; felony, 3 points per count; murder, 10 points per count)

2/16/17: Jets CB DARRELLE REVIS is arrested for two counts of aggravated assault (felony), one count of robbery (felony), one count of conspiracy: aggravated assault (felony), and one count of making terroristic threats (misdemeanor)

2/26/17: Ravens S MATT ELAM is arrested for possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis (felony), possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver (felony), and possession of a controlled substance (felony), and reckless driving (misdemeanor).

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast