When the Bengals moved on from cornerback Adam Jones, many thought that Cincinnati having to worry about players off the field was over.
That held true until this offseason when rookie running back Mark Walton started getting into trouble. He has been arrested for possession of marijuana and also for battery in just over a three-month period.
He now has his third arrest to add to the list, according to the Miami Herald:
The 21-year-old NFL player surrendered Thursday to face felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon, marijuana possession and reckless driving stemming from a high-speed car chase that happened on the night of March 12 in North Miami-Dade.
According to court documents, Miami-Dade police officers tried to pull over Walton’s rented BMW because it was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. The car abruptly pulled over in the front yard of a home in the 2300 block of Northwest 86th Street. One officer saw Walton getting out of the car and ordered the him to the ground. The speedy running back fell to the ground, the warrant said, but then “sprang to his feet” and ran off. During the foot chase, an officer shot Walton in the back with a Taser stun gun, the warrant said. But Walton dislodged the electrified prongs, ran off and vanished, police said.
Officers found 14 grams of marijuana, a rifle and several fully loaded rounds in the car that was rented by Mark Walton.
This obviously puts Walton on a pretty quick chopping block for the Bengals, especially as new head coach Zac Taylor doesn’t have any ties to the running back, and he is trying to establish a culture.
In his introductory press conferences, Taylor preached character and accountability. While he has yet to bring in his first draft class, it’s very likely that he takes these facets into account—especially in the wake of Walton’s legal issues.
Walton was the Bengals fourth-round pick in last year’s draft, and it was a bit head scratching even at the time. At best, he would take Giovani Bernard’s place when the veteran’s contract ran up. In any case, it felt like a luxury pick that Cincinnati didn’t even need to make since they had promising young running backs like Brian Hill and Tra Carson.
It looks even worse when you also realize that Cincinnati never drafted an offensive tackle during that draft either, and now they likely wasted a fourth-round pick that could’ve been spent on a developmental tackle instead.
Walton had 14 rushes for 34 yards and five receptions for 41 yards during his rookie year. He never scored a touchdown with the Bengals, and he struggled to get on the field with Joe Mixon and Bernard ahead of him. He played in 14 games.
That will probably end up being Walton’s career stats with the Cincinnati Bengals.