Former Seahawk draft pick Malik McDowell, who last month was sued by the team for repayment of part of his signing bonus, is facing new legal troubles in his native state of Michigan, including assault of a police officer and resisting arrest as well as receiving a stolen truck said to be worth $74,000, according to a report Wednesday from DetroitNews.com.
The newspaper reported that McDowell will appear Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court on the charges in the two incidents.
The paper reported that McDowell was involved in a scuffle in February with two police officers who tried to arrest him on suspicion of drunken driving and that two months later McDowell was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property in connection with the truck, which he had claimed he had purchased for $3,000.
The paper reported that during the February incident, McDowell confronted one of the arresting officers inside a gas station, refused to hand over his license and grabbed his wrists and put his hand on the officer’s gun, according to a police report, and that “during the exchange, there was heavy extensive damage to the inside of the store.”
After being subdued, McDowell was charged with assault/resisting arrest, a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and fines, and operating while intoxicated, according to the paper.
McDowell has also been charged with receiving and concealing stolen property, the paper reported, as a result of an investigation of pickup thefts from a Ford Motor Co. overflow lot in Dearborn. The paper reported that if convicted McDowell could be sentenced to up to five years in prison as well as fined $10,000.
The paper reported McDowell’s attorney, Mitchell Ribitwer, as saying “My client has had some troubles this year. We hope to resolve these matters but first will seek an adjournment in court Thursday.”
McDowell was the Seahawks’ top pick in the 2017 draft, taken in the second round at number 35 overall.
But he never played a down for the team after suffering head injuries in an ATV accident in July 2017. He never again practiced with the Seahawks and was eventually waived by the team in March.
That seemed to be the end of it for McDowell with the Seahawks.
But the team then sued McDowell in May alleging he has not repaid $799,238 in bonus money that an arbitrator ordered him to. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan — McDowell is a native of Detroit who played at Michigan State.
The Seahawks initially attempted to reclaim all of McDowell’s signing bonus of $3.198 million. Negotiations between the team, McDowell and the NFL Players Association resulted in an agreement that McDowell would forfeit half — $1,599,238. Seattle had already paid McDowell three installments of the bonus, so to make good on the agreement McDowell had to repay $799,238 while Seattle simply had not made the final payment.
McDowell was allowed to keep $1,598,476, with the arbitrator essentially ruling McDowell had to repay the bonus for the 2019 and 2020 seasons — he was still officially on Seattle’s roster for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The bonus was part of a standard four-year rookie contract that could have paid him up to $6.9 million.
As for the new legal charges, DetroitNews.com reported that on Feb. 18 a police officer “spotted McDowell spinning out in a Jeep Grand Cherokee and attempted to question him.” His attorney told the paper that McDowell “demanded that a supervisor be called to the scene and when the officer said none was available, McDowell exited the car and walked to a nearby gas station, where he and the officer got into a confrontation.”
The officer and McDowell are alleged to have “wrestled” inside the station with McDowell said to have gotten “the better of the battle” even though he was shocked with a taser. When another officer arrived McDowell was subdued and handcuffed and taken into custody.
The paper reported further that McDowell was convicted of drunken driving in 2018 in Royal Oak (Mich.) so a new conviction of operating while intoxicated could result in a stiffer sentence.
As for the truck, DetroitNews.com said McDowell told police he did not know the truck was stolen and had purchased it for $3,000 from a man on Linwood in Detroit but did not know the name of the man. The paper reported the trucks were equipped with GPS devices, one of which led officers with the Oakland County sheriff’s auto theft unit to a closed garage at McDowell’s Southfield address.
After McDowell was released, he had a visit with the Cowboys in March, with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, saying at the NFL league meetings later that month that McDowell had been cleared to return to play football by an independent doctor.
McDowell, though, was not signed by the Cowboys and has not been reported to have any further visits.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said at the league meetings the team did not feel McDowell would ever be cleared medically to play football.
“The doctors wouldn’t let him play,” Carroll said in March. “…He had an accident that he was injured and they couldn’t clear him.”
McDowell took to Twitter on June 1 to dispute that he was not medically fit to play saying the Seahawks “had their own reasoning” for not clearing him while questioning the legitimacy of the doctor used by the Seahawks. That doctor, Samuel R. Browd, is the Medical Director of Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program and the Director of the Sports Institute at UW Medicine and serves as an unaffiliated neurological consultant to the NFL and an independent neurological consultant to the Seattle Seahawks. (Among the reported investors in VICIS helmets are Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin).
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