I was very excited when we signed Mike Goodson to a three year $6.9 million contract. Despite the fact he only has 160 carries, 722 yards, 3 touchdowns and 5 fumbles to his name as a runner. He also has 59 receptions on 78 targets for 524 yards. He had concentration issues but when his head was in the game, he looked like a dangerous player capable of bringing a little something to the backfield, especially on 3rd down.
Unfortunately for the Jets, Goodson was arrested on May 17th on drugs and weapons charges. Goodson who was the passenger in the car found at 3:00am on Interstate 80 was taken to hospital before being taken to the station, such was his physical condition at the time of the arrest. The Jets seem willing to let the legal process play out with Goodson, who is set to return to practice on Tuesday. However if you put your name in front of the Media in New York like Goodson did, his past is going to be thoroughly investigated.
Now I criticize the beat reporters of the Jets a lot, I think they do a terrible job covering this football team. However I can't criticize them for wanting to know a little more about Goodson's past following his arrest. Yesterday Rich Cimini of ESPN posted an article explaining that Goodson's legal problems didn't begin on May 17th
The article highlights that Goodson has fathered 6 children by 3 different women. He has been sued for paternity and child support by three different women. He has been sued by a jewelry store for not paying his bill for a Breitling watch, something that should have cost him $56,465 ended up costing him $84, 423. He was sued by two apartment complexes while with the Panthers for not paying rent, receiving 2 eviction notices. He was also sued for missing car payments on a $49,000 Mercedes.
While playing for the Panthers the mother of three of his children sued for child support and a restraining order, but she later dropped the case for unknown reasons. However her attorney has confirmed that she will begin legal proceedings again next week and seek retroactive child support in the form of a lump sum.
Mike Goodson's father was sentenced to a minimum of 24 years in prison in 2007 for orchestrating a $12 million mortgage scam. This all brings up the question that one anonymous scout was quoted as saying:
When the news of Goodson's arrest broke last week, a scout from another team, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said of the Jets, "Do these guys do background checks?"
On the surface this is all very troubling. To me it looks like Mike Goodson has some maturity and responsibility issues. He obviously can not handle finances or the responsibility of making payments to the appropriate places on time. He's just received a $1 million signing bonus from the Jets, we should have a structure of support for players finances. If he can't do it, hire an accountant who can do it all for you. A personal professional to manage your finances.
As the article stated, before May 17th there was no criminal activity. Mike has made a lot of mistakes and he continues to do so, but all of these incidents don't point to him being a bad guy. They point to him being an immature, irresponsible guy who needs support and guidance. A player who needs to be surrounded by good people. He needs to be around people like Curtis Martin, people who can show him how to be a professional athlete in the New York spotlight, and how to handle money.
The Jets are no strangers to paternity cases, they supported Antonio Cromartie through his troubles. A couple of years on, I bet they are happy they did so. How John Idzik handles this situation is vitally important, I think we should wait for the legal process to do it's job and then made a firm decision after this regarding whether Mike should be a Jet going forward. I have heard some say we should cut him right now, if we did then I could understand it. However for me, he has talent but he has troubles. Before he arrived in NY, these troubles were kept quiet.....now they are out in the public forum, he has no choice but to face them and resolve them.