Mike Goodson & The Argument For Anti-Heroes in the NFL


Dec 6, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Mike Goodson (25) carries the ball on the kick off against the Denver Broncos during the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Denver Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders 26-13. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The game of football is for the most part is results-oriented. You produce, you get cheered, you get paid. If you can help a team win you will have a job plain and simple. The Mike Goodson situation is no different. If the Jets think that Goodson will help they will keep him, if not they will cut him.

Mike Goodson has had a rough couple of weeks. First he was the passenger in a car that stopped on the side of the road with both drugs and a gun with hollow point bullets. Goodson was so drunk he had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as possession of an unlawful firearm. Hollow point bullets are also illegal in New Jersey so an additional charge was added. Last Wednesday he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The police are still trying to determine who owned the gun and Goodson’s lawyer is adamant it was not his. The driver of the vehicle does have a firearms charge on his record. Then ESPNNewYork.com delved into Goodson’s past and found that he was sued for paternity and child support by three women with whom he fathered six children from August 2010 through May 2011. His wages were garnished while he was with the Raiders stemming from a $56,465 bill that remained unpaid.

Plenty of “bad guys” have had long careers after run-ins with the law. Take Leonard Little, the LB/DE for the Rams from 1998-2009. Leaving a birthday party he drove while intoxicated and killed a pedestrian. He was convicted of manslaughter and received 4 years probation. The Rams kept him because they thought it would help the team. In 2004, Little was once again arrested for driving while being intoxicated he was ultimately acquitted, but did admit to police that he had been drinking at the time of the arrest. Still the Rams kept him. Little had four seasons of 12 or more sacks in his career and led the team in sacks 6 years during his career. The Rams made an awful decision, one I don’t condone or agree with, but this is an extreme example of my point. Teams and fans don’t want boy scouts they want results from just about anyone who will give it to them.

According to an NFL Arrests Database kept by UTSanDiego.com there have been 653 player arrests since 2000. Most were punished by a short suspension from the team or league if anything at all. Why punish Mike Goodson more than other players like David Diehl of the Giants who had a DUI last year and crashed into a parked car and missed no games? Or Damien Robinson back in 2001 who had a loaded shotgun in his truck and was suspended one game check?

So the Jets will make a decision that is in essence a cost/benefit analysis. Is Mike Goodson’s ability to help the team big enough to overcome the mistakes he made? That is a tough decision but let’s not forget that he is far from the only football player who has gotten  arrested for doing something stupid and he won’t be the last. Plenty have gotten second chances too. I think if it is found that the gun was not his and only the misdemeanor drug charges remain that the Jets will keep him. If the gun charges stick there is a minimum three-year sentence the Jets will have no choice but to cut him and recover his signing bonus.