It’s unclear — if bordering on unlikely — whether former Seahawk Malik McDowell, a second-round draft choice, will ever play football again.
But if he were to try to play in 2019, he would have to sit out the first two games after having recently been suspended by the NFL.
Tom Peliserro of the NFL Network reported the news of the two-game suspension Friday, and while he did not state a reason for the suspension, it’s likely related to McDowell having recently been charged in his native Michigan for offenses in two separate incidents. One charge alleged assault and resisting arrest as well as operating a vehicle while intoxicated in an incident that culminated in a scuffle with police officers at a gas station. The other charge came from allegedly receiving and concealing stolen property after buying a Ford truck valued at $74,000 for $3,000. Those would be viewed by the NFL as violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
The Seahawks waived McDowell in March after he spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the non-football injury list after suffering head injuries in an ATV accident in July 2017, just before his rookie season was to begin. McDowell, taken 35th overall in the 2017 draft, never played a down for the Seahawks and could be the highest-drafted player in team history to never play in the NFL if he never sees action.
McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said at the NFL league meetings in March that McDowell had gotten medical clearance from an independent doctor — Seattle’s doctors would not clear him to play — and hoped to play again. He had a visit with the Dallas Cowboys in March shortly after being waived by Seattle but did not sign with Dallas and is not currently on any team’s roster.
Rosenhaus declined to comment to The Seattle Times this week when asked if McDowell hoped to try to keep playing football.
McDowell is being sued by the Seahawks for failing to repay almost $800,000 in a signing bonus that was part of his initial rookie contract with the team. Seattle initially paid three of the four installments of McDowell’s bonus — or 75% of the overall bonus of just under $3.2 million — but an arbitrator ruled Seattle did not owe McDowell half of that bonus and ordered him to repay one of the installments he had already received.
That suit remains unsettled.