Less than two weeks before the 2017 NFL free agency begins, Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam was arrested in Miami on drug charges when police pulled him over for reckless driving and found him to be in possession of marijuana and oxycodone. The Ravens passed on Elam’s fifth-year option, and this incident certainly won’t help him find new employment during the NFL offseason.
Matt Elam — Arrest Details
According to a report from NBC Sports, the Miami-Dade police officially booked Matt Elam at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, March 26. The charges include marijuana possession (126 grams), intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a controlled substance (three grams of oxycodone). Elam was initially pulled over for reckless driving, and will be charged for that as well. While no information is currently available regarding a court date, he was still in custody on Sunday morning with bail set at $15,500.
This won’t be Matt’s first drug-related issue. In 2015, he was suspended without pay for one game after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, although he was on Baltimore’s injured reserve when the violation occurred, and the violation was self-reported.
Matt Elam — History With Baltimore Ravens
Elam, now 25 years old, was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens as the 32nd overall (first round) pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, just after they won Super Bowl XLVII. After playing three years in college for the Florida Gators, expectations were high for Elam. His rookie season was by far his most impressive, although that happened to be a particularly rough season for the Ravens. Elam started 15 games for Baltimore in 2013, with 77 tackles and his only career interception. The Ravens finished the season with a record of 8-8, failing to qualify for the NFL Playoffs one season after winning the Super Bowl.
His performance suffered the following season, and he was eventually pulled from Baltimore’s defensive starting line-up. The Ravens would defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL Playoffs that year before being eliminated by the New England Patriots. Matt Elam wasn’t a major factor in the post-season. He missed all of 2015 with a torn bicep, and was relegated to special teams when he returned in 2016, registering just one tackle on the season.
The official word from the Baltimore Ravens, as relayed by spokesperson Chad Steele in an email to USA Today, isn’t a very encouraging one for Elam’s future.
We have just been made aware of this and are looking into the situation. Matt Elam is not in our plans.
Since the Ravens had already passed on Elam’s fifth-year option, the official statement from Baltimore isn’t a surprising one.
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When does 2017 NFL Free Agency officially begin?
The 2017 NFL Free Agency officially begins on March 9 at 4 p.m. EST. The “tampering period” begins on March 7, giving NFL teams two days to talk with free agents before making any official offers. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of NFL rumors regarding free agency between March 7 and March 9. This year’s biggest NFL free agents include running back Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins, and strong safety Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs.
[Featured Image by Cliff McBride/Getty Images]