Teams will be lining up to sign Laurence Maroney after seeing this mug shot…

In case you haven’t heard, Laurence Maroney kicked off free agency by getting arrested. TMZ has obtained his mug shot.

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Maroney kicks off free agency by being arrested on weapons and drug charges

Running back Laurence Maroney’s rookie contract expires this offseason and considering he’s largely been a bust since being selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, one would think he would spend his free time training.

But one would be wrong.

According to, Maroney was arrested late Monday night and is being held on unlawful weapons and drug charges. While there aren’t many details at this time, it appears that Maroney was in a car with three other men when the police pulled them over in St. Louis. Oh, and apparently there was a high-speed chase.

Maroney’s publicist Jane Higgins told KMOV that her client was not with the car involved in the chase, but he just so happened to be behind the car by “pure coincidence.” Per the report, Maroney has a permit for the gun he was carrying, but the permit was in a wallet that wasn’t on him at the time. (You know, because guys carry multiple wallets to match their shoes.)

For his sake, I hope this was just a misunderstanding and he can clear his name. Otherwise, he’s not going to receive much offers this offseason.

Update: TMZ is reporting that Maroney was released and not charged with a crime.


Updating an earlier item, reports that Laurence Maroney was arrested for possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a weapon Monday night, but Maroney’s rep says he has been released and not charged with a crime.
“Mr. Maroney was unlawfully arrested for possession of weapons. He holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon and he had his permit on his person when he was arrested. He was not arrested for any drugs nor was he involved in a high speed chase. He was released without being charged with any offense and we do not anticipate he will be charged with any criminal offense.” We’ll update this if more unfolds, but it sounds like Maroney has somehow dodged a bullet here, no pun intended.

Well that’s certainly good news for Maroney.

Belichick names Maroney full-time starter. Nah, just kidding – he traded him to Denver.

New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney (39) spikes the ball in the endzone after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on November 8, 2009. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 27-17. UPI/Matthew Healey Photo via Newscom

There have been times over the course of the last couple of years where it looked like Laurence Maroney was finally going to turn the page in New England.

Like the time when he rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against the Bengals his rookie year – a performance that earned him both FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week and Diet Pepsi Rookie NFL Player of the Week honors.

Or like during the 2007 playoffs, when he compiled 244 rushing yards and two touchdowns in two games before being limited to 36 yards on 14 carries (with one touchdown) against the Giants in the Super Bowl.

But whenever it appeared that Maroney was ready to make more out of his career, injuries, inconsistent play or Bill Belichick’s desire to keep Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk or Fred Taylor relevant would get in his way.

After receiving zero action in the final two preseason games this year, Maroney appeared to be in Belichick’s doghouse for good. And even when Belichick insisted that his former first round pick was still in the Patriots’ plans, you got the sense that Maroney wasn’t long for New England.

On Tuesday, Belichick shipped Maroney and a sixth rounder to Denver in exchange for a fourth round pick. Maroney will now be reunited with Josh McDaniels, who was his former offensive coordinator in New England. He joins a backfield that also includes Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter, although the latter has shown signs of decline, which is probably why the Broncos felt the need to acquire Maroney.

Maybe now that he’s out of Foxboro, Maroney will start to live up to his first round status. He’s still going to have to split carries, but at 25 he has plenty of time to turn things around if he can make the most out of the situation.

In New England, Belichick is now relying on the combination of Taylor, Faulk and Sammy Morris in the running game. Should be interesting.

Knowshon Moreno owners can relax. He’s the clear RB1 in Denver. If anything, the main guy hurt by Maroney’s arrival is Correll Buckhalter, who may not get as many reps if Maroney thrives with the Broncos. I think the big benefactor from this trade is probably Fred Taylor, who is now even more cemented in as the Pats‘ RB1. Maroney was up-and-down while in New England, but he clearly has some talent and he was still a threat to Taylor’s touches. Now Taylor will surely be the main ballcarrier while Kevin Faulk takes all the third-down and receiving duties. It looks like BenJarvus Green-Ellis (5 carries on Sunday) is next in line for carries if Taylor were to go down.

Ten NFL players facing make or break seasons

Training camp is still a month away but you don’t need daily reports from the grueling two-a-day sessions to see what players are going to have the heat turned up on them this season. I’ve complied a list of 10 players (in no particular order) who, not necessarily the same reasons, face make or break seasons in ’09.

1. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
If Romo doesn’t get the Cowboys to the playoffs in 2009 will Jerry Jones look for other options at quarterback in 2010? No. But if you read between the lines, the Cowboys jettisoned Terrell Owens this offseason so that Romo will have every opportunity to be the team’s most influential leader and hopefully go from being a great quarterback to one of the elite. While it might not technically be a make or break season for Romo, his career is certainly at a crossroads. Romo’s numbers last year were solid – 3,448 yards, 26 TDs, 91.4 QB Rating – but his play faded over the last month of the season and the Cowboys imploded. Since then, Romo’s work ethic, offseason dedication and leadership skills have been questioned and it appears as though the QB’s career has come to a fork in the road. If he continues on the path his currently on, he might put up decent numbers and lead the Cowboys to the playoffs a couple more times before his days are done. That’s certainly not bad, but Jones and the rest of the Cowboy faithful want Romo to be extraordinary and if he completely dedicates himself to the game, maybe he can take this talented team to the next level. One thing’s for sure – with T.O. out of the way, this is now Romo’s team and it’s up to him where he and the Cowboys go from here.

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Joey Porter sounds off about Bill Belichick, Patriots

Here’s a surprise: Joey Porter doesn’t like the New England Patriots.

Joey Porter“I don’t like them,” Porter said. “I ain’t never really too much cared for them. It is what it is.”

Take last year’s blowout. Porter took issue, strangely, with the Patriots running dives to Laurence Maroney [stats] with just under four minutes to go. Since they couldn’t kill the clock without getting a first down, the Pats handed off in an attempt to get one before punting with 18 seconds left.

“They could’ve kneed the ball,” he said. “We couldn’t win the game. We had no timeouts. They were up by 21 and still running running plays. So I really don’t care how they feel or what they’re getting ready for. Doesn’t really matter to me.”

That was in response to a question of whether he thought head coach Bill Belichick was embarrassed by what the Dolphins had done to the Pats in September.

“I don’t really care, to tell you the truth,” Porter said. “I don’t forget things like (not taking a knee). I hope our whole defense, our whole team doesn’t forget things like that. (Belichick) had the mindset last year where he said if he could put 50 up on you, he was going to put 50 up on you. That was his mindset. So why should I feel sorry about anything that happens on that side of the field?”

Porter remains angry about a pregame slight when the Pats practiced their punts directly over the stretching Dolphins.

“We were in a stretch and they walked directly down the field and start punting over our heads,” Porter said. “It was like, ‘Damn, would you want the whole 100-yard field? You got your 50 yards over there, then you walk through our 50, go to the end zone and kick to the 50?’ You don’t.

“Now they’ve got to come into our yard. All the little antics they had before the game and stuff like that, they’re not going to try that in our house.

“They let us know how they feel about us,” Porter concluded. “There’s no love lost. We don’t like them. They don’t like us. That’s exactly the way you should like it.”

The only problem with the Dolphins being relevant again is that Joey Porter is now relevant again. Still, you always have to appreciate some good “I hate you, you hate me” jibber-jabber from players before a game.

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