It hasn’t been a proud week for the Green Bay Packers organization, as they have had three legal situations that have arisen to the forefront.
This time period between the end of minicamp and the beginning of training camp always has NFL teams holding their collective breaths. Mike McCarthy empathized to his players the importance of representing the organization well during this vacation. Andrew Quarless clearly didn’t take this to heart.
Quarless was arrested in South Beach on Saturday morning, and charged with misdemeanor discharging a firearm in public. He allegedly fired two shots in the air in an argument with morning and tried to hide the gun behind a plant. This was following a one-game suspension for Datone Jones after he was cited for marijuana possession the day following the NFC Championship game. Also coming out last week was Letroy Guion facing a civil suit from 2013 for assault, battery and assault by cyberstalking. This was after Guion was arrested on felony possession of marijuana and a firearm. Those charges were dropped.
These were the first arrests for the Packers since Erik Walden was arrested in 2011. They’ve done a good job of evaluating character in their draft prospects, so they don’t have to deal with this stuff. The phrase “Packer people” gets thrown out a lot for what the Packers are looking for in their players. These kind of incidents have been rare for the Packers, but now that they have happened they must be dealt with accordingly.
I was surprised that Guion returned to begin with following his arrest. He wasn’t drafted by the team, so he didn’t have that kind of connection to them. He also isn’t the kind of talent you take a character risk on, especially after re-signing B.J. Raji. His charges were dropped, but they were significant.
Quarless is the starting tight end for Green Bay, but he’s basically a replaceable player, even though Aaron Rodgers gave him some love this offseason. Many fans have been calling for Quarless’ release. It’s something to consider if you really want to send a message to the team and it’s doubtful Quarless would be missed much even though the Packers are thin at tight end. Of course, there is something to be said for letting the legal process play out. Although, if these allegations prove true they’re certainly reason to cut a player.
It’s a tough situation that the Packers haven’t faced recently. What is the fine line between letting the legal process play out and making a statement that this behavior is unacceptable? It will be very interesting to see how Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson react to this.