All of the NFL players with checkered pasts who have been able to stay out of trouble recently, can thank former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and this murder case for absolutely nothing.
Hernandez is the undisputed poster-child of the 29 NFL arrests since the Super Bowl (we thought Titus Young would claim this title before Hernandez’s situation), but the league’s character is now being evaluated in a vacuum.
That means that there are now questions about all of the players we could possibly have questions about…or at least some type of discussion to be had.
Regardless of how unfair he thinks it is, Cowboy’s wide receiver Dez Bryant is one of those players. Bryant, having spent a tough couple of seasons off the football field after being drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of 2010, came into his own both personally and professionally in 2012.
The start of that season notoriously marked Jerry Jones’ attempt to provide Bryant with actual rules to abide by while he was away from the game. He became the only professional athlete we knew about who had a team-imposed curfew and was required to check in before being spotted at a night club.
At the time, it seemed a bit heavy-handed on the Cowboys’ part, even if they did have Dez’s, along with their own, best interest at heart. Now, people are wondering why the Patriots didn’t do their due diligence with Hernandez the way Dallas supposedly did with Bryant.
There is risk/reward analysis all over the Internet. Former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus told KRLD-FM in Dallas last month that Bryant had the worst background of any player he had ever seen coming out of college.
Unfortunately for the fourth-year receiver, that’s the kind commentary most media types are going to latch on to, even if it’s to point out his maturation since getting to the league.
Bryant wants no part in these discussions.
I just wanted to know why is my background relevant right now? I promise there is more shit to talk about in this world than my background
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) July 1, 2013
It matters now because Bryant is the one player we can point to and say, “This guy is on probation for a domestic violence dispute with his mother, the same mother who once did time for slinging crack cocaine.” That’s a unique and compelling story no matter how many catches he snags, or even if team-imposed rules seem to be keeping him out of the trouble limelight.
But there is plenty more to discuss aside from Bryant’s past, because he’s not one of the 29 arrests that folks keeps clamoring about.