There seems to be a growing number of players throughout the NFL who have experienced off-the-field issues, be it legal problems or questions about their character and ability to mesh in the locker room.
In addition to age, injury history, contract demands, and a myriad of other factors, those off-the-field issues create yet another aspect that teams have to consider when determining if a player is a good fit for their organization.
Earlier today, I asked whether you all thought that wide receiver Donte Stallworth would be worth pursuing despite the fact that he pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter last year and spent nearly a month in jail.
Other players, such as Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall and Bills receiver Terrell Owens, have also had off-field problems, giving teams that extra factor to consider when it comes to roster decisions.
How do the Ravens view players with character issues when they're behind closed doors? Well, head coach John Harbaugh says that organization has yet to rule someone out strictly because of something that's happened outside of the white lines.
"In our conversations, I don't know if we've ever discussed a guy that we just said, 'We want no part of this guy,'" Harbaugh said in last week's "State of the Ravens" press conference. "I can't remember a guy we've talked about in the last two years that we said that about. Maybe I'm forgetting somebody, but I don't think so.
"So, it just becomes how much do you risk, how much do you take away from other opportunities to build your team for this guy? If the reward matches the risk, you kind of balance it out, and you take a shot...And most of these guys that get to the NFL, in the end, they have their issues, but they're still pretty good people. You don't get to this level without fundamentally being pretty solid, overall."
Obviously, some mistakes are more damaging than others, and teams view off-field issues on a case-by-case basis.
But Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti says that for him, the severity of the initial mistake isn't the most important factor to consider. To Bisciotti, guys with multiple strikes on their record are the ones he tends to want to stay away from.
"Certainly, the repeat problems you better avoid," Bisciotti said. "I don't think that mistakes are necessarily a sign of poor character. I think repeating mistakes is the closest sign to bad character that you can look at."
Like Harbaugh, Bisciotti says he's willing to take a chance on a guy who has made a mistake in the past. In fact, when members of the Ravens front office are discussing a player, Bisciotti often finds that he's the biggest risk-taker in the room.
"I like the fact that [members of the front office] care about our image, and they pull me back from the rail, because I'm ready to take chances on people," Bisciotti says. "I really am. I think that's kind of what life is about, and I think there are opportunities like that.
"I hope we're in a position someday where someone wants to dump a Randy Moss for a fourth-round draft pick, because I'll be in there saying, 'We've got to take a chance.' It's about what you have to lose if that person fails you. So, I think it's risk and return."