The NFL Teams With The Most Arrests
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The NFL is adored worldwide for its excitement and unpredictability – just look at the Rams recently achieving their second-ever Super Bowl title and first in over 20 years!
But with millions of football fans around the globe, many feel the players representing each team have a responsibility to be positive role models. However, they do not always live up to that and there is on average a criminal offence committed by an NFL player every seven days.
Analyzing data collected from NFL Arrest between January 2000 – March 2022, we’ve been able to determine the franchises, positions and NFL divisions that have had the most arrests.
Which NFL teams have the most (and least) arrests?
With an astonishing 55 registered offences attributed to players representing the franchise since the turn of the century, the Minnesota Vikings are officially the worst-behaved team in the NFL. The team’s biggest offender is Bryant McKinnie, who was arrested four times while playing for the Vikings, including for his involvement in the infamous 2005 boat party sex scandal.
The Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals aren’t too far behind, however, with 50+ arrests apiece since 2000. Brandon Marshall is the Broncos’ most-arrested player this century with four offences, while Chris Henry was charged six times during his time with the Bengals.
With 40 arrests registered to rostered players over the last 22 years, the Kansas City Chiefs also rank among the worst-behaved teams in the NFL, with Larry Johnson the most prolific offender (four arrests), followed by the Cleveland Browns (39) and Jacksonville Jaguars (39).
At the other end of the table, the Houston Texans are the NFL’s best-behaved team, with only 16 players arrested while representing the franchise since the year 2000. With only a couple more player arrests, the LA Rams (18) and Detroit Lions (19) are also among the least troublesome teams, alongside the Philadelphia Eagles (21) and Atlanta Falcons (22).
Which Positions Get Arrested Most Often?
When it comes to arrests in football, are players in certain positions more likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the law?
Analyzing offence data, we can reveal that wide receiver is the most arrested position in football, with an incredible 158 players apprehended for various crimes since 2000 - including ten in the last two years alone. According to the latest data, the most common transgression committed by players in this position is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which accounts for a third of arrests (30.4%).
With over 130 registered misdemeanors and felonies over the last two decades, linebacker (137) and cornerback (134) also place highly for player arrests, with DUI infractions once again the most common crime.
Running back (110) ranks fourth, with drug-related arrests taking top spot, while, of the 91 recorded offences committed by players in the defensive tackle position, a quarter (24.3%) have been DUIs.
Other positions to place within the top ten for most arrests include safety and defensive end, with 81 and 79 violations, respectively, as well as offensive tackle (58), tight end (43), and offensive guard (25).
Which divisions record the most (and least) arrests?
Investigating NFL arrests by division, our research reveals that the worst-behaved NFL division is the AFC North (149), which features regular offenders the Cincinnati Bengals (50). Next up, we’ve the AFC West (146), which contributed mostly thanks to high-arrest-rate franchises the Denver Broncos (54) and Kansas City Chiefs (40), while the Minnesota Vikings’ NFC North (19) comes in third.
Meanwhile, the AFC South ranks fourth, despite featuring the league’s best-behaved team; the Houston Texans (16).
Looking at the divisions that see the fewest arrests, it’s the NFC East that’s cleanest; between them, the Dallas Cowboys (27), Washington Commanders (26), New York Giants (23) and Philadelphia Eagles (21) have recorded 97 crimes since the turn of the century. In fact, it’s the only division to record fewer than 100 offences in this time.
The AFC East (106) is also relatively well behaved, with only the Miami Dolphins (34) picking up more than 25 arrests over the course of the last two decades, while the LA Rams’ NFC West and Atlanta Falcons’ NFC South sit just above with 109 and 112 arrests, respectively.
While it’s no secret that some NFL players and teams have a history of misdemeanors, it’s worth acknowledging that the arrest rate across the league is lower than the national average. With the NFL draft just around the corner, check out all the latest news, NFL odds, and NFL picks for your favorite team ahead of the new season.
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