Say what you will about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He's done some good things as the head of the league, and he's done some very questionable things, but one of the trends he can certainly hang his hat on is the downward trend in offseason crime generated by the current players. When Goodell became the commish nearly a decade and a half ago, that was a big part of the platform on which her ran — there being a NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN!
It took a while, several years really, for the crime among players to dwindle to a trickle, but in the last few years, that has certainly been the case. If you recall, I used to have a gimmick on this website called the "Fantasy Crime League" where I, tongue in cheek, awarded points to teams based on the amount and severity of arrests generated in the offseason.
To Goodell's credit, I had to retire the FCL gimmick two years ago because there was very little content being generated by the players. Well, fast forward to this weekend, and it would appear that either players are getting bored in this "virtual" offseason, or they're making up for lost time. Or both.
It started with Giants CB DeAndre Baker and Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar finally turning themselves in on Saturday for allegedly robbing a Miramar, FL party they were attending on Wednesday night. In a scene out of Pulp Fiction, they robbed partygoers of nearly $70,000 in cash and jewelry, reportedly to make up for the same amount in gambling losses they incurred two nights prior. Good times!
Then came this on Saturday....
Redskins WR Cody Latimer was arrested early this morning and booked on the following charges: Assault in the 2nd Degree, Menacing, Illegal Discharge of a Firearm, Prohibited Use of a Weapon and Reckless Endangerment, per the Douglas County Sheriff. He’s being held on a $25K bond.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 16, 2020
Man, Latimer hit for the cycle on that one! And then on Sunday morning, we got one that hit much closer to home....
Bills DT Ed Oliver was arrested on Saturday night in Houston on charges of driving while intoxicated and unlawfully carrying a weapon. A pistol was found in Oliver's car. Oliver was transported to Montgomery County jail.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 17, 2020
Here are the details from the Montgomery County Police Reporter:
Just before 9 pm a motorist called 911 and reported a white Ford Superduty pickup pulling a trailer with a “dune buggy” on it. The driver reported they were westbound in the construction area of State Highway 242, between I-69 and FM 1485. They stated the driver of the truck was failing to maintain a lane and driving dangerously in the 45 mph construction zone. A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy was able to locate the vehicle and stop it on SH 242 near FM 1485. He then requested a DWI Certified Officer to the scene. The driver of the vehicle did have an open beer between his legs and appeared nervous. A Montgomery County Precinct 4 DWI Certified Deputy responded to the scene and performed a field sobriety test. He determined that the driver was impaired but by possibly something besides alcohol. The driver who is identified as Ed Oliver Jr., a Defensive Tackle for the Buffalo Bills and former player for the University of Houston. He was transported to Kingwood Hospital for a mandatory blood draw and then transported to the Montgomery County Jail where charges of driving while intoxicated were filed in addition charges of unlawfully carrying a weapon were filed. A search of his vehicle discovered a pistol but no drugs.
Here is the video of the stoppage and arrest, if you have a few spare minutes:
OK, we have a few things to unpack here... let's go!
"No, NOT ED OLIVER!"
I'm sure this is what a lot of Coogs are saying this morning. Oliver was one of the more popular and undoubtedly one of the most important players in recent UH history. Considered one of the top ten players in his high school class, the five star recruit chose Tom Herman and the Coogs over many high level Power Five suitors back in 2016. He eventually became a top ten pick for the Buffalo Bills, and by the end of his rookie year, he was a nice rotational piece on a really good Bills defense.
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His garb in the video is fantastic
I'm sure the Bills are thrilled that Oliver is wearing a Bills workout shirt in this video. Exactly the branding they are looking for! Also, he is doing the sobriety test barefoot, which means he was driving barefoot, compounding the stupidity quotient of this whole scene. AS for the sobriety test itself, his "heel to toe" is embarrassing, but I am impressed with his "balancing on one foot" ability. Overall, a solid C+ (in a situation where, unfortunately, you need a minimum of an A-).
I'm sure the Bills were thrilled to see him both drunk and lugging an ATV
Oh yeah, while Oliver was out flashing his Bills duds, it appears that there's a good chance, based on his lugging an ATV behind his truck, he was not only out off-roading somewhere, but doing it while drinking. What could possibly go wrong!
So, what now?
This definitely opens up the possibility that Oliver will be suspended for a portion of the 2020 season (assuming we have a 2020 season, which I think we will). The standard suspension for an alcohol-related offense for a first time offender is a two game suspension, with the caveat that Roger Goodell can tack on more for extenuating circumstances (additional violence, drugs, etc.). From that standpoint, what may get Oliver a few more unpaid weekends off is the unlawful possession of a firearm. Either way, it would appear that Oliver's absence is something the Bills should plan for in 2020, for at least a chunk of the season.