Wednesday Morning QB (Week 13)

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The NFL has had an interesting relationship when it comes to players with off-field issues and they have more often than not missed the mark.

It is one of the more prevalent criticisms of the league as they never seem to know how to handle these issues.

It isn’t a new problem either as they have had experiences with players being arrested for drug possession and even for involvement in murders.

Yet every time they come to an issue they tend to handle it poorly and the more recent examples come with a very serious hit to the image of the league.

Although drug charges are always going to be an issue and DUIs, as stupid as they are, will likely continue to be a problem a more serious offence has taken headlines.

That offence has been the repeated incidents of domestic violence from players in the league at a time where that is taking on an importance into the general public.

With the #MeToo movement and so many other women speaking out regarding sexual assault and abuse there is nowhere to hide for the people who commit these crimes.

That includes star athletes who have often gotten away with things like this as leagues and teams have swept them under the rug.

The first major case in the NFL was regarding Ray Rice who was suspended two games after he was charged with domestic violence.

That suspension was extended to indefinitely after a video surfaced of him knocking out his girlfriend in an elevator.

Rice remained untouchable even when his suspension was lifted as he never played a down of football again.

The same happened to Greg Hardy who was convicted of assault but that conviction was later overturned when the accuser, his girlfriend, refused to appear in court for the appeal hearing.

Hardy remains out of football and is currently an MMA fighter who is trying to make it onto the UFC roster.

The past few weeks have seen more of these incidents and the difference in the way they have been handled has been night and day.

On November 24 Reuben Foster was arrested on probable cause of domestic violence, his second such arrest this year.

Immediately he was released by the San Francisco 49ers but just as quickly he was picked up by Washington.

Washington management has continued to defend the decision, claiming that it is just a football move and that they will deal with the outcry.

To them, it doesn’t seem to matter and that hasn’t left a lot of fans and outsiders with a good taste in their mouth.

It seems as other teams got the message as Kareem Hunt experienced much of the same issues this week.

The biggest difference between the two is that in the Hunt case a video was released showing him getting into a fight with a female.

After that video was released Kansas City released their star running back claiming that he had failed to talk to either the team or the league regarding the incident.football-sidebar

The video caught them all by surprise and so the combination of the incident and the fact that he lied about it had him without a job in a few days.

So far no team has come close to him as he remains unclaimed and is a free agent that might never play again.

Part of his situation is due to the fact that a lot of teams saw the reaction when Foster was signed and don’t want to be a part of it while the video was certainly the biggest factor.

The difference in so many of these cases is proof as NFL teams seem willing to give players the benefit of the doubt on accusations.

Despite the pictures that surfaced in the Hardy case the Dallas Cowboys continued to give him a shot.

It wasn’t really until he became less of a player that they let him go while Rice was immediately black-balled because there was no debate about whether or not he did what he was accused of.

Even in the Rice case, he was suspended but only when the video was released was his suspension extended to something that relates to a bigger issue.

In the case of Foster, Washington was willing to take a chance as there are only accusations right now, although this is the second time in a year he has been arrested for the same crime.

For Hunt, the video is clear evidence and for NFL teams looking to win on the field as much as off of the field, he is not someone they will want to go near.

He will likely remain out of the league for at least next year as teams continue to weight their desperation for a talented back and their true care for how their players treat other people off of the field.

 

Fifth Quarter

Moving On

The Green Bay Packers have been a team with plenty of talent that simply can’t compete this year. A loss in Week 13 has all but eliminated them from the playoffs for the second year in a row after eight straight seasons playing for a title. The disappointing seasons had Mike McCarthy on the hot seat but to the shock of many his position as head coach was far more tenuous than once thought. After their Week 13 loss McCarthy was fired as they would not let him coach the rest of the year. Now the Packers head into an offseason where they will be looking for a new head coach who will have to deal with massive expectations along with one of the best quarterbacks in the league and a wealth of young talent on offence.

Going After Officials

 Referees have never been considered the favourites on the field as they often take the most abuse of anyone. Despite the fact that they are usually right on the field they are still considered incompetent and without any repercussions for the odd mistake that they make. This week that seemed to all blow over as the Buffalo Bills were a heavily penalized team throughout their Week 13 game and linebacker Jerry Hughes let the referees know about his opinion. After the game, Hughes went after the referees in the tunnel getting into a screaming match claiming that one of the officials swore at him during the game. This week it seems like he was proven right as the official he had a problem with was put on leave while Hughes will get no punishment for the incident.

Kap Still Not an Option

Washington has gone through some tough times in the quarterback position this year as their star went down a few weeks ago with a major injury. Alex Smith broke his leg and the run they were making to the top of their division as put into doubt. This week their backup Colt McCoy suffered a similar injury leaving them with recently signed Mark Sanchez to lead the way. Now as they go down the rung of QBs some are left to wonder why they aren’t considering another QB. They seem to be fine with controversy after signing a player accused of domestic abuse but they won’t be signing Colin Kaepernick. Although he was apparently considered he won’t be signed leaving the same questions surrounding him as they are desperate for QBs and still won’t sign the controversial QB.

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