Two Birds, two arrests.
One player was released within hours while the other remains on the roster, which probably has some people wondering, “what gives?”
My gut reaction tells me that the Birds saw video of Daryl Worley’s weekend incident and decided that due process wasn’t going to change anything in this case. While the 23-year-old cornerback hasn’t had his say, or his day in court, it’s obvious the Eagles were convinced by whatever they saw or whatever they learned.
To rewind, these are the pieces of information being reported about what happened:
- Worley was (allegedly) asleep in his car at the intersection of Broad and Pattison at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning
- he (allegedly) did not cooperate with police, who used a taser on him
- he (allegedly) had a loaded gun in his possession
- it’s not clear if he was carrying that gun legally
That’s the gist of it. Worley apparently became combative with police and was taken into custody. This morning, we learned that he’s been charged with Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, Driving Under the Influence, Disorderly Conduct, and other related charges, such as Resisting Arrest:
Police were silent yesterday about the arrest of Philly Eagles' player Daryl Worley, who was subsequently cut from the team. Here's what cops released on it today, along with his mugshot. Still no info on what initiated police's contact with Worley. pic.twitter.com/wu2dkiDYTU
— Stephanie Farr (@FarFarrAway) April 16, 2018
The nature of the charges seem to indicate that Worley was not in legal possession of the gun. Les Bowen adds this:
One of the firearms charges against Daryl Worley is a felony, I am told, but we'll see how that goes through the plea process, etc.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) April 16, 2018
That’s what we know, for now. He was arraigned and released.
Michael Bennett, meantime, was indicted by a Houston grand jury on the felony charge of “injury to the elderly.” That alleged incident took place after Super Bowl 51 when the defensive end reportedly shoved a paraplegic woman in an attempt to enter the field of play.
Houston police admitted that they do not have video of the Bennett incident, which makes a lot of folks skeptical of the whole situation. Add to the fact that the charges weren’t filed until one year later, and that makes the motives even more dubious. Is this pay back for the Las Vegas incident? I don’t know, but apparently the Eagles aren’t convinced and are willing to let this one play out in court.
Of course, let’s not be naive here. Bennett is the better player. We’re comparing a veteran Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner to a third-year corner who is still on his rookie deal, a guy who wasn’t even a lock to make the roster anyway. It’s a lot easier to cut ties with Worley, while the Bennett situation is complicated. Considering his heavy involvement in the Colin Kaepernick-inspired social justice movement, you’re looking a messy navigation of public opinion if you make a decision on him one way or the other. The “other,” in this case, is publicly backing him, which would probably be just as divisive as releasing him. It benefits the Eagles to do nothing and say nothing while far-ranging Bennett opinions are thrown around on social media and television.
In Worley’s case, I guess they had seen enough.
And they’ve been down this road plenty of times before, with the signing of Michael Vick, the Riley Cooper situation, and the more recent incidents involving Nigel Bradham and Josh Huff. Marcus Hayes addressed that in what I thought was a fair article in the Daily News, titled “Eagles Should Have Given Daryl Worley a Chance.”
From the story:
“Similarly, in 2016, his first year with the Eagles, Nigel Bradham was arrested for allegedly breaking the nose of a cabana boy at a Miami hotel Miami in July, then was arrested at Miami International Airport for trying to sneak a loaded handgun past TSA in October. Bradham was cleared of the assault charges. Bradham said he’d forgotten he had the gun in his backpack. Bradham remained on the team, had a career year in 2017, helped win the Lombardi Trophy and, grateful for the club’s faith in him, signed a team-friendly extension.
As patient as they were with Bradham, the Eagles can just as be unforgiving. In early November 2016, they quickly released receiver and kick returner Josh Huff after he was pulled over in New Jersey for speeding on the Walt Whitman Bridge and found to possess marijuana, a handgun for which he had no valid permit, and hollow-point bullets.
But that was in the middle of a season. Team sources told us in 2016 that Huff was on Eagles property with the pot, guns and bullets, and that he lied to the team.”
Think about Bradham and Huff; what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
One guy is a great player and the other isn’t.
It could start and stop right there, and I really don’t doubt the idea that on-field worth is the biggest factor in all of this. In 2004, if Donovan McNabb and Mike Labinjo were both arrested for DUI and illegal possession of a firearm, which one is getting released and which one stays with the team? Yea, you know who. It’s a lot easier to look the other way when the infractions come from fringe players instead of franchise players. (And most in the former category don’t leave you with a cap hit when released.)
As far as Worley’s past, he did have that 2014 incident at WVU, an altercation with a woman outside of a nightclub. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault and received a six-month suspended sentence. Worley said he was defending his girlfriend at the time, explaining that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and did everything the court asked of him.
We’ll see what the court asks of him this time around, if he’s ultimately found guilty. I don’t know how all of that will play out, but it seems like the Eagles do.