The New York Jets Are Beating the Giants Where It Counts: Player Arrests

Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson was arrested last month.EXPAND
Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson was arrested last month.

Looks like there’s one thing the National Football League’s New York Jets can boast about over their in-town rival New York Giants: more player arrests over the last five years. It’s not much, and it certainly isn’t the greatest thing, but Jets fans have to take their winnings where they can, right?

As Mike Rosenberg, a reporter in Seattle who used to work for the San Jose Mercury News, noted Wednesday, the Jets are way ahead of their rivals in player arrests over the past five years, with eleven. That places the Jets sixth out of the 32 teams for most player arrests. The Minnesota Vikings are first with eighteen arrests, followed by the Denver Broncos with sixteen.

Meanwhile, the Giants — the Jets' roommates at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey — find themselves at the bottom end of the scale, with only three arrests in the past five years, placing them in a tie for 29th. The Houston Texans are the only team with just one arrest over the past five years.

What’s even more noteworthy (aside from the recent Geno Smith–Ikemefuna Enemkpali sucker-punch incident) is that in the last six months alone, the Jets have had to contend with two player arrests. Defensive end Sheldon Richardson, the NFL’s 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year, was arrested last month in Missouri for reportedly driving his car at 143 miles per hour. The police report said a twelve-year-old was in the car at the time and a loaded handgun was found. The other incident involved running back Chris Johnson, who was arrested in January on gun charges after being pulled over in Orlando. Officers reportedly found two guns in his car, but charges were later dropped.

Had the Jets not released Enemkpali after the incident with Smith, the team might have been poised to move into a tie for fifth place on the list, as it is unclear whether or not Smith, whom Enemkpali is alleged to have punched in the locker room, will press charges. Smith's jaw was broken in the altercation and he will miss six to ten weeks. The Buffalo Bills signed Enemkpali on August 11.

The Giants currently have the longest streak without a player arrest of any NFL team. As Rosenberg wrote on Twitter, no Giants player has been arrested in 600 days. 

The respectable Giants haven’t had to deal with a player arrest since December 2013, when safety Will Hill was arrested for nonpayment of child support. He reportedly owed nearly $9,200, which he later paid. Will was cut by the Giants in 2014 and now plays for the Baltimore Ravens. The other Giants player arrested in 2013 was linebacker Dan Connor in July after airport security in Philadelphia reportedly found a switchblade in his luggage. He played one game for the Giants that year before he was released in November.

Two thousand thirteen was a banner year for the Jets as a total of five — FIVE — players were arrested. It was the most for an NFL team that year. Four players were nabbed on marijuana possession charges; the fifth was charged for speeding and having outstanding warrants for unpaid traffic tickets. The Denver Broncos came close, with five brushes with the law that year as well, but were edged out of the top spot on a technicality: Broncos linebacker Von Miller was involved in two of the incidents, only one of which resulted in arrest. In essence, Jets fans, you still win, here. Titans of New York, indeed. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!

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