A sentence handed down to former Seahawk Malik McDowell for crimes committed in two separate incidents earlier this year includes almost a year in jail and having to write four essays about law enforcement and related issues.
According to both TMZ and The Oakland Press in Michigan, McDowell will spend the next 11 months in jail and within 90 days also has to write four essays ranging in length from 750 to 1,000 words on topics such as “Finding Meaning In Life Other Than Committing Crimes,’’ “Principles of Declaration of Independence and How Your Behavior Undermines Them,” “Importance of Respecting the Rule of Law’’ and “Importance of Respecting Property Rights.’’
McDowell was sentenced Wednesday in Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court after he pleaded guilty to multiple crimes late last month.
The sentence covers two separate incidents in which McDowell was recently charged, including receiving and concealing stolen property (a Ford truck McDowell said he got for $3,000) and operating while intoxicated and resisting arrest and assault for an incident in February.
Video later surfaced of the latter incident showing McDowell getting into an altercation at a gas station with police who approached him on suspicion of drunken driving (it was later revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .189).
McDowell was a Seahawks second-round draft choice in 2017, the team’s first selection overall that year, but never played a down after suffering head injuries in an ATV accident that summer. He spent two years on the team’s non-football injury list before being waived last March. He has not been on an NFL roster since then.
McDowell already has served 66 days in jail on a driving with a suspended license charge and also will have to serve three years probation and do 100 hours of community service for each year on probation.
According to The Oakland Press, McDowell apologized for his crimes and said he hopes to someday return to playing football.
“I’m doing everything I need to do, seeing all the doctors I need to, working out … doing everything I can to get back to where I was, back to the NFL,” he said, according to The Oakland Press.
The Oakland Press said the judge who handed down the sentence, Michael Warren, is known for often including essays as part of the punishment. The paper quoted Warren as telling McDowell he needs to look beyond athletics to find self worth and that “what matters is what’s inside you, what’s in our head and spirit. You are a person with a divine spark … make yourself better, each and every day.”
McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in March that an independent doctor had cleared McDowell to resume playing after Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team waived him because its doctors did not feel he could safely play again.
McDowell, who played at Michigan State, had a visit with the Dallas Cowboys but did not sign a contract.
The Seahawks later sued McDowell, claiming he has not repaid one of his bonus payments of almost $800,000 that an arbitrator ruled he must return to the team.
McDowell’s contract included a $3.1 million signing bonus but the team reached an agreement with the NFL Players Association that Seattle would pay only half for the two seasons he was on the team’s roster. That meant McDowell had to repay one payment he had already gotten. When he did not do so, the team sued. It’s unclear the status of that suit.
McDowell turned 23 on June 20.