The Green Bay Packers are having a rough year, but not because of their performance on the field. Over last several days, two Packers players have been charged with marijuana-related crimes and an assistant coach has been busted for drunk driving.
Cornerback Sam Shields is currently sitting out after sustaining another concussion, but one day after the team put him on medical reserve he was arrested for marijuana possession. On October 19th, police investigated his home “on suspicious drug-related activity.” According to reports, Shields decided to poke the bear by opening the door with a joint in his hand and leaving several jars of “green plant material that was consistent in appearance to marijuana” lying around his house. Subtle.
Shields pleaded not guilty to both misdemeanor charges just a few days ago, but was still charged on both counts. He heads back to court on April 24th.
The Packers have refused to comment on the situation, but ESPN’s Rob Demovsky expects the team will drop Shields when his 4-year contract expires this year, a move that would save $9 million on the Packers salary cap.
Shields isn’t the only Packers player in the news for pot. Wide receiver Geronimo Allison is also facing legal trouble for marijuana possession over an incident that happened back in September. After being pulled over for speeding, officers smelled and found pot in his car. He was arrested and fined, and was recently charged with misdemeanor possession. The NFL has declined to comment, and it’s unclear if any action will be taken since the case is not yet resolved.
The NFL’s strict policy on marijuana often means players are suspended for pot-related legal troubles (understandable) or for failing a mandatory drug test (with little, if any, room for medical exceptions or any form of nuance). Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson was recently handed a 10-game suspension without pay for using marijuana to treat his Crohn’s disease.If Sam Shields and Geronimo Allison are both found guilty of these charges, it’s likely that the NFL Player’s Association will suspend them, assuming they’re still employed by the NFL at that point. As for Packers assistant coach Darren Perry and his drunk driving offense, his fate is still uncertain.