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Criminal Maddness: Carroll Cut

Wasted Talent, Good Riddance

As you probably know, Jacksonville Cornerback Ahmad Carroll was released from the team two days after his arrest. Carroll was allegedly carrying a gun and ecstasy in his hometown of Atlanta.

Now let's establish a few things right off the bat. Ahmad Carroll was not an integral part of the Jaguars Defense. In fact, he was acquired as a project after Green Bay released the first round prospect just to see if he had anything left. He won't hurt the salary cap and he's no loss to the team. His contribution last year was nine tackles, one sack and three passes defended.

So what's the problem with his release?

The Collective Bargaining Agreement only allows for a 4 game suspension for disciplinary action by the team, specifically if it's considered "conduct detrimental to the team", cutting a player is not appropriate and will probably merit an appeal by the NFLPA.

This is where Roger Goodell's demand that the teams be held accountable for the actions of their players reaches the levels of the absurd. Jacksonville knows that they have had a string of arrests, despite the individual debatably of each one and decides to cut some dead beat dead weight. But because the "rules of engagement" haven't changed despite the "increased enforcement", the team could get screwed for doing what the commish says is the right thing.

I'm torn in a couple of ways. I want the Jaguars to be successful, I want them to be the best damn team in the league, and I want them to have the moral high ground and serve the city of Jacksonville with pride and respect. But I understand the realities of managing the actions of part time residents that happen to be wealthy young men with more cash than common sense.

Vic Ketchman addressed this dilemma in his daily column

Everybody has their own standards. You have, however, asked what mine are, so I'll tell you that I share none of your sentiments. I don't ascribe at all to this embarrassment-for-the-organization mentality, and to think that an entire city should bear responsibility for any person's behavior, let alone someone who is a part-time resident, is ludicrous. I am responsible for my actions. No one else is responsible for my behavior. It's that way, in my opinion, for all of us. I don't buy into the idea that the Cincinnati Bengals should bear the humiliation for Chris Henry or the Titans for Pacman Jones. To even think that way is the result of some kind of high-mindedness that wants to assign blame to as many people as possible because pointing the finger is a fun activity. If you point the finger at the Titans, where does it stop? West Virginia University? Pacman's high school? His hometown? That's ridiculous thinking. The finger points at Pacman. Ahmad Carroll was a bust with the Packers. The Jaguars had a high grade on him coming out of Arkansas, so they decided to take a chance on him. I can tell you that at no time during Carroll's time with the Jaguars have I heard anyone suggest that he is an integral part of the team's future plans. So what you're telling me is the Jaguars and all of Jacksonville should bear the embarrassment for a player who's not from here, wasn't arrested here, was little more than a part-time resident of Jacksonville and doesn't appear to figure prominently into the team's plans. Again, that's ridiculous. I'll leave the finger-pointing to law enforcement.

I think that there needs to be more clarity about what a team can do to purge themselves of scrubs without facing the wrath of appeals and the NFLPA. Also, the tendency to punish players before the judicial process has played out is a wee bit absurd. Despite the fact that they are equal citizens under the law, despite ESPIN's 24 hour media cycle, there are cases that are thrown out when the evidence is presented.

I'm glad to see Carroll gone though, he's not deserving of a roster spot for both his on the field lazyness and his off the field problems.

Oh, and I'm back after graduating and getting engaged.

-Chris .