The Raiders recently signed former Packers' defensive back Brandon Underwood to a contract. This signing is a bit curious considering the statements that Reggie McKenzie made upon his hiring about changing the culture of this team and this organization.
"I want some guys who love to play the game" McKenzie emphasized.
He later went on to say "I need to feel what these players are all about as people. Because that locker room is going to be a sacred place. You need guys working together in that place. You don't want to add guys that are going to tear away from it,"
It would appear that Brandon Underwood does not fit this criteria due to his spotted past. And it isn't a distant past either.
In the last two offseasons he had run-ins with the law three times.
In the summer of 2010, the then married father of three was caught with a prostitute. He would later plead no contest to one count of prostitution-nonmarital sexual intercourse.
In June of 2011, Underwood was arrested for disorderly conduct in conjunction with domestic abuse against his then wife. According to his wife, the two of them got in an argument on the way home following the Packers Super Bowl ring ceremony. Then, in the driveway of their home, he ripped off her necklace, threw her out of the car, and drove away. The necklace was one that the wives of all the players had received as a gift at the ceremony from the Packers organization.
Just over a week before his arrest, he had been placed under suspicion of sexual assault. Seven Packer players attended a party at Lake Delton, Wisconsin where the sexual assault was said to have occurred. Six of those players were cleared of any involvement intitially. Underwood was reportedly the seventh player who allegedly had sexual contact with two women, and it was unclear whether the sex was consensual. The police later opted against charges due to contradictory statements.
He was suspended for two games by the NFL for the domestic dispute incident. He and his wife have since gotten a divorce.
Originally a 2009 round six draft pick out of Cincinnati by the Packers, Underwood was out of football in 2011. He played in 23 regular season games in his two seasons there with no starts. He had a total of three assists in the 2010 season and didn't record a defensive statistic in the Packers postseason run to the Super Bowl. He didn't make the final roster cut down last season.
Perhaps McKenzie feels like he knows something other teams don't with regards to Underwood. After all, he spent two seasons around him in Green Bay. Or perhaps he feels like he can get him to straighten his act up now. Or maybe he's friends with Underwood's agent. One never knows.
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