Mike Goodson was back on the practice field Thursday – this time under the watchful eye of the media.
The running back -- who practiced with his new team for the first time during Tuesday’s closed voluntary OTA -- returned kicks alongside Joe McKnight Thursday afternoon and also was spotted with the third-team offense during team drills (Please don’t read into that.)
Goodson didn’t speak to reporters after practice, on advice from his attorney. But his quickness spoke volumes about what he can do in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense. Though it’s tough to evaluate running backs this early in the offseason, Rex Ryan said Goodson’s “speed and acceleration…jumped out at me.”
The Jets coach, however, wouldn’t say much else about the 26-year-old running back, who currently is facing five weapons and drugs charges stemming from his May 17 arrest. “I’m not comfortable talking about the young man’s past,” said the coach, who also defended the team’s research into Goodson’s background prior to him signing a three-year, $6.9-million deal.
Goodson’s highly-publicized arrest on I-80 in Denville, N.J. may have been his first run-in with law enforcement in a criminal case, but he reportedly has had legal issues for quite some time. According to ESPN, the former Carolina Panther and Oakland Raider was:
* sued for paternity and child support by three women from August 2010 to May 2011, according to court documents in North Carolina and in Texas (In all, Goodson reportedly has fathered at least six children with those women, one of whom he lived with for two years)
* sued by a Houston-area jewelry store after Goodson didn’t pay a $56,465 bill, which included the purchase of a $37,500 Breitling watch (Goodson was forced to pay back $84,423.44 – which was taken out of his paychecks from the Raiders
sued three times by two apartment complexes in the Charlotte area because of unpaid rent
The Jets, nevertheless, gave Goodson a $1-million signing bonus back in March, following the free-agency departure of Shonn Greene.
“Again, we do our due diligence,” Ryan said. “So I’m sure, you know, we know about all of our players. Not just Mike. All of our players.”
Ryan also defended the Jets’ decision to sign veteran free-agent quarterback David Garrard to a one-year deal this offseason.
Garrard, 35, was forced to retire two weeks ago because of lingering knee pain and on Thursday, the Jets announced they signed former Seahawks wide receiver Ben Obomanu and placed Garrard on the reserve/retired list.
Ryan said the Jets knew Garrard wouldn’t be "the same guy" he was after a two-year hiatus, but after Garrard underwent his physical, "We thought, 'Let's give this a shot,’” the coach said.
“Were we bringing him in to compete? Sure,” said Ryan, though he added “it wasn't like we were blindsided” by Garrard’s injury.