There have been 19 NFL arrests this offseason. Five of those have been members of the Baltimore Ravens.
Whether there's an argument that a certain arrest was bogus or not, five members of this franchise have been put in handcuffs and taken into police custody. No matter what, from an organizational standpoint, it's a bad look. Those in Baltimore will defend the team. Those around the league won't.
And perception does become a reality in a lot of places.
John Harbaugh, after telling his team that they need to take accountability and not place themselves in situations to be in trouble with the law, cannot be happy about what happened with Smith — regardless if Towson, Md. police should have given Smith some leeway in what was certainly the heat of the moment. Also unhappy is probably Steve Bisciotti, as his team could be subjected to a fine thanks to the organization having five players arrested.
However, is it really all that bad as it may seem on the outside?
Here's a look at the players arrested and what their futures hold with training camp just 10 days away:
Ray Rice — felony aggravated assault for allegedly striking his now-wife
This is the most serious of the five incidents, with Rice facing some sort of suspension. That announcement could come as early as this week, given the proximity the league is to training camp opening. Rice and his wife, Janay Rice, were arrested at Revel Casino in February. Charges against Janay Rice were dropped while Ray Rice's role was upgraded to third-degree assault. Rice has since entered a pretrial diversion program and will not serve any jail time as long as he completes what's required of him. His suspension from the league is expected to be anywhere from one game to four games. At the time of the incident, Ray and Janay Rice were engaged. They've since been married.
Jah Reid — misdemeanor battery at a Florida night club
Reid has been said to have a mean streak in practice. However, it hasn't translated onto Sundays. When he's not playing, he's probably one of the nicest, calmest and down-to-earth guys in that locker room. But on a March night at the Red Garter Saloon in Key West, Fla., Reid snapped and assaulted a man and two security guards, according to police. He was arrested and later accepted into a pretrial diversion program. The league could potentially punish Reid with a fine or suspension. As far as his future with the Ravens, it probably wouldn't weigh into any decision-making about his role on the 53-man roster. Reid will have to show dramatic improvement this training camp to be back on the squad.
Deonte Thompson — felony possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia
This one falls under the broad spectrum of opinion category. It all depends on how one sees marijuana, a drug even the NFL is considering lessening penalties for. Some may say Thompson shouldn't be near the stuff if he wants to play in the NFL. Others may say it's one personal choice to do the drug, considering two states (Colorado and Washington) have legalized it for recreational use. Recently, the state of Maryland has decriminalized it. It's still a banned substance in the NFL, so players should be prepared to suffer the consequences if they test positive, however. Thompson, like Reid, could see his time in Baltimore end this preseason, unless he stands out in a big way. The case against Thompson was dismissed so he's unlikely to see any discipline from the NFL.
Lorenzo Taliaferro — misdemeanor destruction of property, drunk and disorderly conduct
Taliaferro's incident was one of the more head-scratching ones, considering he had just been drafted by an NFL team. Whether he's drunk or not, there's no reason to (allegedly) smash a taxicab's window. While he spent his collegiate days under the radar, he should have realized quickly that his actions would be scrutinized far more now that he's an NFL player. Some may think this incident wasn't a big deal, but tell that to the taxicab driver, who, instead of working, had to deal with police and a broken window the rest of that night instead of doing what he does to make a living. It was an extremely selfish thing for Taliaferro to (allegedly) do. His court date is July 31.
Jimmy Smith — misdemeanor disorderly conduct
Some say he was just helping out a friend. But you just can't get combative with police and expect nothing. On top of that, assuming the police report is accurate, Smith was wrong for not allowing authorities and medical personnel to enter the bathroom where a woman was incoherent from a night of partying. Making the situation more murky is the fact police found a substance that is suspected to be cocaine in the woman's purse. Now that doesn't mean Smith was partaking in it, but it does create an association. Even so, this incident is unlikely to receive any attention from the NFL. Any team discipline subjected to him will probably be internal.
If I had to rank the cases in level of severity, this is the order:
1) Rice — this is obvious.
2) Reid — assaulting people trumps personal destruction to property.
3) Taliaferro — much more than a "boys will be boys" incident.
4) Thompson — only ranks ahead of Smith because he was initially charged with a felony.
5) Smith — this could have been avoided, though it's by far the most minor charge of the bunch.