The Pulaski County Sherriff’s office has confirmed that Chicago Bears’ offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb was arrested on misdemeanor drug charges Sunday evening, as first reported by KFVS-12. According to the news outlet, he is specifically charged with possession of cannabis and paraphernalia.
Shortly after confirmation, the Bears issued their prototypical statement: “We are aware of the recent arrest of J’Marcus Webb in Pulaski County, Illinois. We are currently gathering information to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the arrest.”
The NFL is also looking into the matter as of this afternoon.
While the charges do not initially appear to be serious, there’s no doubt that an arrest—no matter how minor—does nothing to further endear Webb to the current front office and all-new offensive coaching staff.
Just a couple days ago, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam Jahns wrote a piece about the importance of character to Bears’ G.M. Phil Emery. “We’re always trying to dig further on the character of a player and his background to try and predict what that person is going to be in those areas at the next level,” Emery said. “How is he going to fit for us in the locker room?”
Webb has been the target of criticism in Chicago due to his less than consistent performance at the offensive tackle position, at times receiving harsh treatment from his own quarterback Jay Cutler. Through it all, Webb has remained outwardly confident in his abilities, causing some to wonder if his teammates would rather see him put up or shut up.
The reality of the situation probably does not mean a new team for Webb in 2013. The Chicago Bears and the NFL are not new to this kind of incident, and despite Webb’s consistently inconsistent play, he’s still a valuable commodity to a team already thin at his position.
Barring a semi-major move in Free Agency and/or a first-round tackle selection in the Draft, Webb still figures into the starting mix for 2013 with an affordable $1.33M salary. He may be in the dog house, but my guess is that unless we learn more, Webb’s value as a starting/swing tackle is worth the hiccup.
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