Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 May 2007

Jaguars Waive Carroll After Arrest

Occasionally, the ESPN commenters get a good one in.

"I heard he also got busted for pass interference and illegal contact."

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 07 May 2007

37 comments, Last at 17 May 2007, 5:23pm by empty13

Comments

1
by dryheat (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 4:55pm

Isn't that against the CBA?

2
by Bill Barnwell :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:14pm

Pass interference or illegal contact?

3
by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:16pm

1: It's not as if they couldn't present plenty of evidence that he's a terrible corner.

4
by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:28pm

It is also a lot easier to release a player with questionable character when he isn't very good.

When Nick Saban left Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huezenga had a quote of something to the effect that " we do place an emphasis on bringing quality people into our organization, as long as it doesn't compermise our ability to win".

5
by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:30pm

What a horrible reporting job. He was arrested with a firearm in connection with a felony. No mention of what the felony was! other than "a distrubance at a restaurant," which isn't a felony anywhere I know about.

6
by sam (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:41pm

They did, after all, just draft a new member of their secondary. Technically.

7
by Dr. Mooch (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 5:58pm

#5: Probably the drug possession is the felony.

8
by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 7:44pm

Isn’t that against the CBA?

I don't think so. You can't suspend a player without pay without having cause, but you can release him totally. That lets other teams pick him up if they really want to, so his money isn't an issue.

9
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 9:26pm

The guy's life is spinning out of control. I can't take a shot at this stuff.

Carroll is one of those guys who would have been better served coming in as a middle to low round draft pick so that he would have something to prove. As a first round pick, Sherman and crew coddled him and by the time they realized that route was counterproductive the die was cast. Not being a particularly bright individual when the team finally tried to coach him he had to unlearn a lifetime's worth of awful habits.

He was strong (for his size), fast, and tough as h*ll. But he couldn't play football for a sh*t. How many times does that happen in this game?

10
by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 9:50pm

1- I'm pretty sure it's against the CBA (see Quincy Carter), but Gene Upshaw has joined Roger Goodell in his crackdown on the players, so I don't expect to see anything from the NFLPA.

11
by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 9:53pm

#10 - did Quincy Carter win his argument though? I didn't think he did. I thought that teams could release a player for whatever reason they chose. They just couldn't suspend the player without pay.

I could be wrong though, but looking up Quincy Carter's story, it seems like he was released, had a grievance filed, and nothing was done about it.

12
by Kevin Eleven (not verified) :: Mon, 05/07/2007 - 9:56pm

11- last I knew the Carter grievance was still pending. The Cowboys did claim it was more than just the drug suspension.

13
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 1:31am

Well, it would be kind of illogical if you can't release a player for getting arrested. Think about this way:

If Ahmad Carroll sucks at playing cornerback, you can cut him whenever you want.

If Ahmad Carroll not only sucks at playing cornerback, but also gets arrested, then you can't cut him.

That's silly.

14
by zug zug (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 1:57am

May be me, but there seems to be more cornerbacks getting into trouble than any other position.

15
by saneiac (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 8:47am

I wasn't even aware he had been picked up after the Packers cut him. However, "on Jacksonville's roster for 11 games. He was active for two of them and played in one.", doesn't sound like Jacksonville was terribly impressed with him either.

16
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 9:04am

I think you have it backwards, Kal. I think the most punishment a team can mete out for an off-the-field incident is a four game suspension. Any other discipline has to come for the commissioner.

Since it's early May, Carroll was on the last roster, and no games or practices (I don't think Jacksonville has started yet) for him to perform poorly enough to get cut, I think it's definitely going to result in a grievance. In reality though, I would be surprised if the grievance led to anything.

Long story short, the Jaguars had no reason to cut him before the first round of cuts in TC.

17
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:13am

The Jags did just draft two DBs - Reggie Nelson and Josh Gattis. Maybe if it did become an issue they could claim that they just plain loved what they saw out of Gattis in rookie minicamp and decided as a result that they no longer needed Carroll.

18
by John (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:27am

Re 16 Why? That doesn't make any sense. Players get cut during the off-season every day. Teams can cut a player off their roster whenever they very well please.

19
by John (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 10:28am

continuing my post: Just ask Keyshawn Johnson.

20
by Theo, Holland (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 11:34am

Are the coaches really that bad that they:
a: take Carroll in the first round
b: can't coach him to be a good corner

21
by BB (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 11:46am

3: Reason #1 being the Packers cut him, and it isn't like they were overflowing with useful DBs.

22
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 12:05pm

Long story short, the Jaguars had no reason to cut him before the first round of cuts in TC.

Maybe they forgot he was on their roster (he doesn't get paid in the offseason, after all). When they saw the news and it said "Jacksonville Jaguar Ahmad Carroll" maybe the team said "what?! we forgot to cut him? Whoops!"

23
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 1:16pm

#18 Yes, a team may cut a player any time it pleases, but a team is expressly forbidden by the CBA from cutting a player for disciplinary measures.

Keyshawn was most likely cut for financial reasons. He was not cut for disciplinary issues.

24
by Kal (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 1:22pm

Okay - but what's stopping them from cutting a player who they feel will be a financial liability? It's not a disciplinary reason if they're just cutting the guy, right? I mean, they're not disciplining him, they're firing him.

It's a weird system. Can you cut a player because they're not that good any more or aren't as good as other players on your roster?

25
by Eddo (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 2:27pm

23, 24, numerous others: The problem with the can't-cut-for-disciplinary-reasons rule is that it is very tough to prove. Carroll's off-the-field issues probably factores into this decisions, but the Jaguars will never officially say that. Thus, proving that he was cut for off-the-field reasons is nigh impossible.

26
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:18pm

I agree that it's hard to prove. But it's still welcoming a grievance hearing, which is always a good idea to avoid. Seeing how he got cut within two days of being arrested, Carroll should have a open-and-shut case, if he chooses to pursue.

27
by eagletom (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:22pm

I think this area is impossible to police. Let's say a team has two players, a highly-paid former 1st round pick WR, and an undrafted free agent who isn't quite as good but can run his routes and catch the ball ok when he's open. The former 1st-rounder wanders about the facility flashing their gold, and creating a bad atmosphere by his self-perceived superstar status. He's also hanging out with a bunch of shady types when he should be hitting the weight room, and openly ignores the head coach in meetings and so on, and then is busted for speeding one night when he should have been in studying the playbook.

The UDFA guy gets along with everyone and is a good locker-room guy, helping out wherever he can, busting his butt on special teams, contributing any which way he can.

The team cuts the pain in the ass guy, and keeps the undrated free agent. This saves about two million on the cap, and they sign, say, a defensive lineman, just before camp, to shore up their run defense. You could argue that the guy was cut for personality reasons, or because of his run-ins with the law, or you could see it as the team deciding they need to give something up to address a position of dire need. It's a huge grey area.

28
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 4:30pm

Sure. That's a good hypothetical. But that's not what happened here. In this case, the key points are:

A) Jags tendered Carroll a 850,000 contract recently,

B) Carroll gets arrested, and

C) Carroll gets cut within two days.

It's going to be very hard to argue with a straight face that he wasn't cut due to his arrest.

Your hypothetical describes the arrangement the Patriots had with Corey Dillon and have with Randy Moss. If Moss mouths off to the coaches, or does not give 100% effort on the field, that's a performance issue and he can be cut. It's not the same as Randy getting arrested for DUI and subsequently being cut.

29
by eagletom (not verified) :: Tue, 05/08/2007 - 8:43pm

Yeah, I take your point about that. I guess I was talking in generalities. I can see how the NFLPA might not want to push the issue though, as through this he's made himself into a liability in today's climate. Just to throw out another hypothetical, if the Jags thought Carroll was likely to fail a steroids test, and cut him as a pre-emptive measure to stop their rep getting tarnished, I don't think he'd have much of a case.

30
by Mac (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:02am

Re: 28 I imagine it would be harder to argue with a straight face that signing Ahmad Carroll can help a team win.

31
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 11:35am

It’s going to be very hard to argue with a straight face that he wasn’t cut due to his arrest.

1) Did the Jags sign anyone else? They can always claim that they wanted to sign someone else, and Carroll was cut to make room on the roster.

2) They could also claim that they meant to cut him after the draft (to allow him more time to find another team) but they simply forgot until this incident reminded them of it.

The circumstantial evidence is strong, but you need more than that.

32
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:09pm

They can always claim that they heard voices in their head telling them to cut Ahmad and save the world. They can claim that they saw Ahmad's face in a burrito. They can even claim that Ahmad had a bad year in the GMs 2007 Nintendo season and thought it prophetic. It doesn't mean the NFLPA or an arbitrator is going to buy it.

My only point is that it was an unnecessarily dumb move by the Jags FO, a clear violation of the CBA, and Carroll has a decent chance to win his grievance. The Jags aren't at the roster limit, and they haven't signed anybody since, so there's no issue of running out of room on the roster. He signed his tender on April 7, so it doesn't save them any cap room. They should have cut him in training camp, or waited until Goodell's punishment came down, and everything would have been fine.

I don't know what happens if Carroll wins his grievance though. Is the team forced to take him back? I have no idea.

33
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 2:55pm

It doesn’t mean the NFLPA or an arbitrator is going to buy it.

If the Jags signed someone else immediately, I would find it hard for the NFLPA to not buy it.

The second claim is clearly more hokey. A much more reasonable claim, however, would be "we never really expected to keep Carroll on the team after the draft - we were simply trying to trade him to another team, since we held his rights. When the incident happened, we found out that no other teams were interested, and therefore we released him since he held no further value."

That would explain the coincidental timing without the release being interpretable as punishment.

34
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 05/09/2007 - 3:02pm

They should just argue they never saw the eagles game tape... then pop it right in during the court room.

35
by sow (not verified) :: Fri, 05/11/2007 - 11:52am
36
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Sat, 05/12/2007 - 10:48am

35 - the Steelers cut him before he was arrested. It's going to be really hard for anybody to argue the cut was the result of the arrest.

37
by empty13 (not verified) :: Thu, 05/17/2007 - 5:23pm

They should have waited another few months, if they dont want comparison to the CBA.

I would expect a lot more of this since the commissioner slammed Henry and Punkman. And since Punkman isnt going to get back on the field this year, especially if he sues.