A disappointing regular season for the Ravens has turned into a disastrous offseason, with an NFL-leading five players getting arrested since this year's Super Bowl.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith was the most recent Baltimore player to have a run-in with the law, as the 2011 first-round draft pick was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct late Saturday night.
Smith's arrest follows those of four of his teammates: Running back Ray Rice (felony aggravated assault), offensive lineman Jah Reid (misdemeanor battery), wide receiver Deonte Thompson (felony possession of marijuana) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (misdemeanor destruction of property, drunk and disorderly). This is the most by a single team since the end of the 2013-2014 season.
Amazingly, the five arrests since February are one more than the team had in coach John Harbaugh's previous six seasons.
Of these arrests, Rice's is perhaps the most worrisome. He is a three-time Pro Bowler who had a clean record during his first six years in the league. News of his assault on his then-girlfriend sent shockwaves through the organization and may result in a suspension to start the 2014 season.
Despite Smith's arrest, the Ravens are four short of the Cincinnati Bengals' offseason "record" of nine arrests in 2006. But the Baltimore players' transgressions have already earned them the label of the "NFL’s new jailbirds."
With the regular season still months away, the Ravens already have more offseason arrests than any team did last year. Then, the Jets and the Bucs led the NFL with four arrests apiece.
When asked last year about the huge spike in NFL arrests that tends to occur during the offseason, former Ravens coach Brian Billick attributed the phenomenon to more free time for players after the season concludes.
"Anytime you have more structure in your life, things tend to be more ordered, less issues would pop up," Billick told NPR. "And then once the season's over, [players] kind of scatter to the four winds and are kind of left to their own devices."
The Ravens open the regular season on Sept. 7 against Cincinnati.
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