NFL suspends Jaguars’ Fowler for one game

Dante Fowler Jr.
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. [AP Photo/John Raoux, File]

By John Reid, GateHouse Media Services 

JACKSONVILLE — Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler was suspended without pay for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the New York Giants for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.

He will be eligible to return to the Jaguars’ active roster following their Week 1 game.

Also, Fowler (University of Florida) is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He is scheduled to report with the veterans for training camp this upcoming Wednesday.

″We were informed today of Dante’s one-game suspension and we will abide by the league’s ruling,″ executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin said in a statement issued by the Jaguars. ″We’ll work to get Dante ready to play when he is able to return.″

Fowler, 23, was sentenced to probation in March after pleading no contest to three misdemeanor charges following his arrest last July in his hometown of St. Petersburg, according to Pinellas County court records. He was sentenced to 12 months probation, 75 hours of community service and was required to pay fines totaling $2,575 stemming from battery, mischief and petty theft charges, court records show. Fowler was also ordered to have no communication with the man who filed a battery complaint against him.

The sentencing came after Fowler was arrested July 18 (2017) following an incident that began when a pedestrian criticized his driving. According to the police report, Fowler exited his car and slapped the man, knocking off his glasses. Fowler then stepped on the glasses and threw the man’s recently purchased grocery bag, which included liquor, into a nearby lake.

Fowler also had a March 2016 arrest in Miami Beach and his driving record includes traveling 98 mph in a 55-mph zone along Butler Boulevard about 1 a.m. in July 2016, and driving 99 mph in a 70-mph zone in Alachua County in March 2016.

Before the start of last season’s training camp, Fowler apologized for his arrest and various off-the-field issues.

That’s not me as a person,” Fowler said. “I’m a better person than that and it won’t happen again. I told Tom I was definitely sorry and I do apologize for making the organization look like that and putting us in a situation like that because that’s not how we are as a team and that’s not how we are as an organization. We had a good talk.”

As a backup defensive end behind Yannick Ngakoue last season, Fowler combined for 21 tackles in 16 games and had a career-high eight sacks. In the AFC title game against New England, Fowler sacked Tom Brady twice.

Fowler was the third overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Jaguars after having a stellar college career at Florida. However, Fowler missed his entire rookie season in 2015 because of a torn left ACL during his first rookie minicamp workout.

John Reid is a sports writer for the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville


    • Read the rest of the article. This punishment is for the July 2017 incident (last year) that occurred before the issuance of the apology cited in this article.

      I am not excusing his behavior. However, he has not repeated any negative behavior since good latest apology (to the best of my knowledge).

  1. The only reason we read this is because he is an NFL player and former Gator. I was a crime reporter in Jacksonville for several years. Misdemeanors such as this were as common as stop signs. We only reported on those people who were known in the community, like politicians, pro and college sports stars and other celebrities. Most of the police reports about this were the John or Jane Doe variety and never made the paper.
    Just sayin the world is full of people who did something wrong but you never hear about it because the public does not care about John or Jane Doe.


      Well, so far at least Cattrick and the rest of our’s are good guys and Gators to boot. I’d like to ask a question though about John or Jane Doe……what if one of them bit a dog? Would that make it to print?

  2. Fowler was never had any issues in coolege thst i remember, he’ll get it together…hopefully. Laughed pretty hard though when I read he smacked his glasses off his head and threw his groceries in a lake. Fowler is a huge guy, for that other guy to talk smack then wait around to get slapped, he either is a moron or has some coconuts!

  3. Probably, neither. Saw himself as a potential litigant… The real story will be untold. i.e. how much the guy will squeeze from Dante to settle the case.
    Road rage is one of those offenses similar to when the ref calls the 15 yard penalty on the player who retaliates.

    • I doubt the guy even recognized Dante as he sped through the parking lot, and I doubt he instantly formulated a plan to file a civil suit or squeeze a settlement. All he did is yell at him to slow down. After all, Dante is the same guy who was caught going nearly 100 mph on two separate occasions. He slapped the guy in the head, knocked off and crushed his glasses and then threw his groceries ( and I hope he had a bottle of cheap liquor) into a lake–pretty scary ordeal for an older dude compared to an NFL defensive end. I love Dante, and I hope the Jags keep him for another year. But if he did this to my dad or an uncle or brother , I would be pissed and scream for retribution too. The fact the news covered it says more about the TU and its hypocrisy than anything about Dante. I trust he will learn from this. The Jags have already sent a message to him, in addition to the League.