There was a day when getting arrested didn't hurt your chances of remaining an Oakland Raider. That might even still be the case today, but the team appeared to be wavering on Cornell Green even before he was arrested Saturday on aggravated battery and assault charges. It looks and less likely that Green will stay in the silver and black.
Green was arrested in Tampa Saturday for allegedly battering the mother of his two children in Tampa, slamming her against a wall and hitting her with a mop handle. And an aluminum mop handle at that!
Raider officials are saying the team won't comment until they have more information, but it is believed they weren't sold on keeping him prior to the arrest. Green was part of an offensive line that led the league in false starts, and is well past his prime at 32 years old. Should he be found guilty of the charges, he would face a suspension by the NFL.
There is recent precedent on these matters, thanks in large part to Adam "Pac Man" Jones. Jones was suspended for a full season for assaulting a dancer in a Las Vegas strip club -- but he'd already been arrested four times before that. Former Raider Fabian Washington was given a one-game suspension for his 2008 assault of a woman. Like Green, it was his first assault charge -- but he didn't have that whole "with a deadly weapon" part tacked onto his charge. That's gotta not help in court.
The Raiders did trade Washington, more likely because of acquiring DeAngelo Hall to play his same position rather than because of the assault charge. Washington was an above-average player at his position. Cornell Green, frankly, is not. Teams are more forgiving of scofflaw players who are productive, whereas disappointing players get more genuine consequences for breaking the law. When good players run afoul of the law, teams see it as a headache. When average players run afoul of the law, teams see it as potentially available cap space.
Green already had, at best, a fifty-fifty chance of staying with the Raiders. Now he looks more like an eighty-six.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would prefer the Raiders avoid spending any more time in Florida this off-season.