Receiver Christian Kirk went a little lower than some expected in last month’s NFL draft, and now we might know why.
Kirk was arrested leaving the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February according to the Arizona Republic. The Republic said Kirk, who was born and raised in Scottsdale, Ariz., was charged with criminal damage. The case is pending.
That didn’t stop the Cardinals, who told the Republic they knew of the arrest before the draft, from taking Kirk in the second round. The reason for the arrest is weird, and makes for an embarrassing start to Kirk’s NFL career.
Kirk accused of throwing rocks at cars while intoxicated
Not that any pre-draft arrest makes much sense, but Kirk’s tale is confounding.
Kirk, who knew he was being studied by NFL teams as he went into the pre-draft process, is accused of throwing rocks at cars with some friends outside the golf tournament on Feb. 3. It’s pretty amazing anyone thought this would be a good idea.
“The suspects were intoxicated and leaving the WMPO,” the Scottsdale Police said, according to the Republic. “As they were walking through a parking lot, security personnel observed them throwing rocks at cars and breaking a window of at least one of them.”
For someone who knew he’d be under a microscope from NFL teams leading up to the draft, that’s incredible.
Cardinals knew of the arrest
The Cardinals did their homework with Kirk on the arrest before the draft, a team spokesman said.
“We spoke with Christian about it at length and also looked into it independently,” the spokesman told the Republic. “Our understanding is that the process will be resolved in the near future but while it remains an active legal matter, we won’t comment further.”
The Cardinals couldn’t pass up Kirk’s talent in the second round. Kirk, a productive receiver at Texas A&M, was considered a good value pick in the second round. Some experts thought he had a chance to go in the first round. When he was drafted, it appeared he was selected to hopefully be Larry Fitzgerald’s eventual replacement as slot receiver in the Cardinals’ offense.
Cardinals were looking for character in the draft
The Republic brought up a quote from new coach Steve Wilks that’s pretty funny, now that we know of Kirk’s arrest.
“We don’t want a bunch of choir boys, I’m not saying that,” Wilks said recently, according to the Republic. “But we want to make sure we got quality football players coming into the building. We’re not going to worry about getting a phone call in the middle of the morning that someone out in Scottsdale is doing something crazy.”
The team said after the draft that it put extra attention to character going into this year’s draft, the Republic said.
Kirk can have his day in court (according to the full police report published by the Arizona Republic, Kirk often denied throwing rocks), and the NFL has surely seen worse behavior from its players through the years. But this strange episode isn’t the best way for Kirk to begin his job with the Cardinals.
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