Seattle Seahawks

More problems beyond a lost football career for failed Seahawks top draft pick Malik McDowell

Seahawks top pick Malik McDowell: ‘I like it here. Love it here, actually.’

Defensive tackle Malik McDowell sounds like he's ready to be a Seahawk. He was the team's first pick in this year's NFL Draft.
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Defensive tackle Malik McDowell sounds like he's ready to be a Seahawk. He was the team's first pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Malik McDowell’s issues continue to go beyond never playing football for the Seahawks.

Seattle’s failed top draft choice from 2017 is scheduled to appear Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court in his home state of Michigan, according to The Detroit News. That court has ordered him to stand trial on charges from two pending cases in the last four months.

A month before his agent was talking up McDowell being cleared by doctors so he could re-start his lost NFL career, McDowell was arrested in Michigan for allegedly driving drunk and fighting police officers. One of the officers reportedly tased McDowell.

And a month after Drew Rosenhaus said at NFL meetings in March that McDowell was medically OK to play after head injuries from an ATV accident derailed his Seahawks career that never began, the defensive lineman was charged in Michigan charged with receiving and concealing a stolen truck valued at $74,000.

That’s according to a report Wednesday by The Detroit News.

So it continues for the worst, most unfortunate top draft choice in Seahawks history.

The Seahawks released McDowell in March without him even practicing beyond a 2017 minicamp, let alone playing in a game for them. That was the result of his head injuries from a mysterious ATV accident in the summer of 2017.

Last month the Seahawks filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan, where the accident is believed to have occurred. The team’s suit seeks to recover $1,599,238, two years proration on $3.2 million signing bonus McDowell got from Seattle on his four-year, $6.96 million rookie contract.

The Detroit News obtained a police report that stated the 35th-overall pick in 2017 was stopped in February on the suspicion of drunken driving, and that he then allegedly fought with two Lathrup Village police officers who tried to arrest him. According to the police report, McDowell confronted one of the arresting officers inside a gas station. He refused to hand the officer his license, grabbed the officer’s wrists and put his hand on the officer’s gun, according to the police report.

It stated: “During the exchange, there was heavy extensive damage to the inside of the store.”

In April, Seattle’s top choice from the 2017 NFL draft out of Michigan State was charged in Oakland County with receiving and concealing stolen property: a $74,000 Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck. McDowell claimed to police he bought the truck off the street.

Weeks before the player’s agent told reporters at the NFL owners meetings McDowell had been cleared by independent doctors, a claim Seahawks coach Pete Carroll found unbelievable, a Lathrup Village police officer spotted McDowell spinning out in a Jeep Grand Cherokee in Michigan on Feb. 18. The officer attempted to question McDowell. According to McDowell’s lawyer and The Detroit News, McDowell demanded 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. That’s where he and the officer got into a confrontation.

According to the police report, McDowell and the officer wrestled inside the station. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound McDowell was reported as “getting the better of the battle, despite being shocked with a Taser.” Another police officer arrived to assist, and McDowell was handcuffed and taken into custody.

The News reported McDowell is charged with assault/resisting arrest. That’s a felony that could lead to up to two years in prison plus fines. He is also charged with operating while intoxicated, a 93-day misdemeanor. The News said since McDowell has a February 2018 drunken driving conviction out of Royal Oak, Michigan, he could receive an enhanced combined sentence of fine, jail time, and community service.

McDowell has also been charged as part of an investigation of pickup thefts from a Ford Motor Co. overflow lot in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. The News reported the trucks were equipped with GPS devices.

One of those GPS devices reportedly led officers with the Oakland County sheriff’s auto-theft unit to a closed garage at McDowell’s Southfield address.

The News reported McDowell told police he did not know the truck was stolen, that he had purchased it for $3,000 from a man on the street in Detroit. He didn’t know the man’s name, according to police.

The News reported if McDowell is convicted of the truck offense he could receive a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

He remains an unsigned free agent out of football with zero NFL games played in his lost career.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.
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