NFL Players Involved In A Wave Of Arrests

Should league officials be worried?

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

The past week has not been a good one for the image of the NFL and their players.  A recent string of arrests this month have cast a disparaging light on America's most popular sports league.

But is it really as bad as it seems?

After looking at the recent arrests of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (resisting arrest), Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (DUI), Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (assault), and Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (aggravated assault with a deadly weapon) it would seem to most people that the NFL has a problem.  But don't jump at the chance to accuse commissioner Roger Goodell of not doing his job.

Since Goodell was hired as commissioner before the 2007 season, player arrests have been down 20 percent. Many attribute this dip in arrests to Goodell's more strict player discipline practices, but also a more conscious effort by the league to educate players about the perils of the offseason through different conferences including the rookie symposium, can take credit.  

The NFL's arrest numbers are actually lower than those of the NBA and MLB when you factor in arrests on a per-capita basis.  An active roster in the NFL has 53 players, compare that to 25 (MLB), 20 (NHL), and 15 (NBA) and it's easy to see how the NFL can have more total arrests while actually having a lower overall percentage of arrests.  For example, 25 arrests in one offseason would be the equivalent of almost two NBA teams, or an entire MLB or NHL team being arrested, but would equal less than half of an NFL roster.

Overall, expect commissioner Goodell to hand down at least some fines this pre-season and possibly some suspensions for repeat offenders like Bryant, or Lynch.  So far only Lynch has a court date set for his charges.

J. Lance Moose is a contributor and lead football writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JLanceMoose, and subscribe on Facebook

Photo Credit: AP