The Arizona Cardinals are best in the league at something, and it's certainly not offense, defense, or special teams.
No, the Cards are the best in the league at avoiding being arrested.
-Cardinals Linebacker Daryl Washington Accused of Choking Child's Mother
USA Today created a database of NFL player arrests over the last decade to accompany a story about the "turbulent offseason," which shows the Cardinals have the fewest arrests since 2004.
Since commissioner Roger Goodell took over, before the 2006 season, there have been only four arrests of Arizona Cardinals -- J.J. Arrington, Joey Porter, Javarris James, and Daryl Washington. Even better, not a single one of those arrests was for killing a guy.
Washington, who's suspended for the first four games of this season, is the only one still with the team.
James never actually played a game for the Cardinals, as he sat out last season with an injury.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos have racked up 25 arrests under Goodell's reign, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have piled up 22. If you go back to 2000, then Cincinnati and Minnesota lead the league with 40 arrests each.
Of course, while the Cardinals have had their good behavior, they still haven't been very good at playing football. Not including the year the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl, and their playoff run the following year (2008 and 2009), the Cardinals have had one winning season since 1985.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
And it's not like all of the Cards stay out of trouble, either. Defensive lineman Ronald Talley was sued last year by a man who claimed Talley pierced his skull with a champagne bottle, although Talley was never arrested or charged. D-lineman Darnell Dockett's behavior always seems questionable, but at least he hasn't been arrested.
Valley sports fans might want to be a little grateful, not for the generally mediocre play of the teams, but for the players not making asses of themselves by getting arrested all the time. There are a few obvious exceptions, like former Suns Michael Beasley and Jason Richardson, and former D-back Alberto Callaspo, as well as guys who weren't playing for Phoenix teams when they were arrested here, like former D-backs first baseman Mark Grace, former Suns forward Charles Barkley, and former Coyotes goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, but the players seem to generally behave around here, compared to other cities.
Check out USA Today's story on the NFL arrests here.