When a player on an NFL team is arrested, the affect reverberates through out the organization. Suddenly, every player in the locker room is faced with questions from the media about the bone headed actions of one individual. Rather than focusing on the task of getting better on the field, teams are forced to try and explain why a certain player couldn’t avoid trouble. The legal ramifications fall solely on the perpetrator. But all the questions and subsequent suspensions have unintended victims – the player’s organization.CBSSports’ Mike Free took a look at the correlation between the number of arrests on NFL teams and titles won. The numbers tell an interesting story.
According to a database created by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Minnesota Vikings have had 36 players arrested since 2000, the most in the league. Cincinnati is next with 35, Denver at 32 and Tennessee with 30. There aren’t a lot of championships in that group.
Let’s extrapolate that list even further to the top 10 teams with the most arrests: Vikings, Bengals, Broncos, Titans,Jaguars (27), Chiefs (27), Dolphins (26), Chargers (25), Buccaneers (24) and then the Colts (23). So of that dubious top 10, only the Colts and Bucs have won Super Bowls since 2000.
Far down the list are teams like the Steelers (17), Ravens (16), Patriots (13) and Giants (12) — all Super Bowl winners since 2000 and some multiple winners. The Eagles, also with a Super Bowl appearance, are low on the list with 10, as are the Jets, who have been to multiple conference title games.
“The Giants, Patriots and Packers,” said one general manager, “aren’t teams with an abundance of arrested players. That says a lot right there.”
The ability of some organizations to build a talented roster without an abundance of immature knuckleheads seems to go a long way in helping a team become successful. Some execs become enamored with the talent of an individual player while overlooking potential problems he can create down the line. The numbers from up above may suggest that that may not be the correct way to build a team.