As if this offseason hasn’t been making enough headlines already for the St. Louis Rams, they now have some of the negative variety to deal with.
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was arrested on a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge in Missoula, Montana on Friday morning. Johnson played his college ball at the University of Montana and was drafted by the Rams in the third round with the 65th overall selection in last year’s NFL Draft. Unfortunately, this isn’t Johnson’s first run-in with the law in an incident involving alcohol.
As you may recall, it was pointed out here a little over a month ago that the Rams are a team that isn’t afraid to take a gamble on a player with a troubled past. Johnson is no exception as he had to be subdued with a taser before he was subsequently arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest during his college days. While thankfully this most recent issue didn’t escalate to that point, Missoula County jail records show that he was booked into jail at 3:05 a.m. Friday and released about an hour later after posting his $700 bond. His scheduled initial appearance in Municipal Court was to take place sometime on Friday.
While Johnson didn’t make the impact of some other players with off-field worries given his mere 31 tackles and two interceptions, he was just a rookie in 2012. There is plenty of potential there for him to develop into a real playmaker for this Rams defense. This incident just adds to the issues that the Rams have already faced with their rookie class of 2012.
Another incident earlier this season involved both Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins who were deactivated for the week 10 tie against the San Francisco 49ers after undisclosed team violations the night before. Jenkins’ history has been well documented, but Givens had yet to develop a reputation for such incidents.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this will persuade the Rams to lean more heavily on character when making selections in next month’s draft. This organization with Jeff Fisher at the helm believes that very much like Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, if any team can handle a troubled player, they are that team. While all three of the rookies that have now had incidents in the past calendar year since being chosen by the Rams made a significant impact on the field, one has to wonder if it’s really worth it when the league steps in and starts taking disciplinary action of its own.