The offseason should be a time of relaxation for NFL betting fans, as the well-paid superstars take a time to enjoy their money, doing the kind of things we hear Rob Gronkowski has been doing, or simply deciding to chill it out the Tim Teebow way—relaxing with family and friends, or attending church activities and all. Unfortunately, in recent years, the NFL offseason have been filled with entirely different stuff from the expected trades and resting, as countless team scandals, player suspensions and many other negative news dominate the NFL News and Headlines.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 4, 2015
The 2015 NFL offseason, even with its unique surprises, has been no different, with the ongoing deliberations about the Deflategate scandal taking center stage, followed by other cases/scandals like the Dion Jordan suspension and linebacker Ahmad Brooks’ sexual assault lawsuit and Darren Sharper’s long prison sentence after being found guilty of rape charges. In due time, we will get to see how these scandals affect the NFL Odds, though from the precedence set by how the league has handles some past offseason scandals, it doesn’t look like we will be seeing major changes in the league. Speaking of past offseason scandals that should have changed the league, here are some that are worth being noted:
Aaron Hernandez (Former TE, New England Patriots)
In the offseason of June 2013, Hernandez was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional footballer and friend to the TE, whose body was found on June 27th . As the case developed, the Patriots quickly released the player, who had just signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the team in the previous year. Hernandez, 23 at the time, was later convicted of the murder charges and sentenced to a prison sentence, which he’s still serving to date. Even after such a high-profile case, the Pats (just like many other teams in the NFL) haven’t let down on recruiting or signing players with questionable characters, owing to the fact that the league’s rules haven’t been changed to stringently prohibit such players from joining teams in the NFL.
Michael Vick (Current Free Agent QB, Formerly Played for Jets, Eagles and Falcons)
In July 2007, following the 2006-2007 NFL season, Vick and three other men were charged by federal authorities for operating an unlawful interstate dog fighting ring. A lengthy offseason case ensued and it stretched late to December 2007, where Vick was sentenced to serve 23 months in federal prison. With his plea bargain, Vick ended up serving 21 months in prison and was released on July 20, 2009. Since his sentencing, release and return to the NFL (first with the Eagles and recently with the Jets), the NFL is yet to have a case similar to Vick’s. Evidently, Vick is a changed man, so there’s not much reason to worry about him. Still, with the lucrative prospects that come with illegal gambling and potential big payouts for players involved in such activities, there is an important need to institute strong rules to curb future involvement of players in such gambling endeavors.
Ray Rice (Current Free Agent RB, Formerly Played for Baltimore Ravens)
Just after the 2013-14 season that saw the Seahawks win the Super Bowl trophy, shocking allegations and a video emerged of Ray Rice (a Baltimore running back at that time) was beating and dragging his unconscious fiancé, Janay Palmer, through an Atlantic City casino. With appalling evidence to incriminate Rice, the Ravens cut lose their ties with the embattled Rice, who had a lengthy court battle looking to clear his name. On November 28, 2014, Rice was reinstated in the league, and on May 21, 2015, the charges against him were dropped following a successful appeal. Like Adrian Peterson who found a new home with the Vikings after a case of domestic violence, Rice is hoping to find a new team in the NFL to call his new home.
Unfortunately, the NFL has been filled with several cases of domestic violence, but the NFL commissioners have been unable to put a lid on such penances, often slapping the players with cheap penalties and letting the cases continue. Like the already-mentioned scandals, the NFL must tighten its rules on domestic violence cases, or else the numbers of such cases will continue to surge.