Skins make 1st FA signing - Jerome Mathis

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by mwj473, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. mwj473

    mwj473 Member

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    Redskins make first offseason move, sign kick returner Mathis

    Associated Press

    Updated: April 4, 2008, 7:58 PM ET

    ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins added a free agent for the first time this offseason Friday, signing receiver and former Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis.
    Mathis made the Pro Bowl as a returner with the Houston Texans in 2005, but he was injured for most of the last two seasons. He became a free agent this year when the Texans opted not to make him a qualifying offer at the end of the season.
    Mathis has had two recent run-ins with the law. In December, he received a misdemeanor citation after his pit bull chewed through a fence and was behaving aggressively. In February, he was charged with assaulting his pregnant common-law wife, a charge that was later dropped at the woman's request.
    The 24-year-old Mathis broke the NCAA record for career kickoff return average at Hampton, averaging 26.6 yards. He also holds the NCAA record for career kickoff returns for a touchdown with six.
    The signing is a minor first addition for the usually big-spending Redskins, who uncharacteristically have de-emphasized the free agent market this year and are instead concentrating on this month's draft. Washington's only previous moves this offseason had been to re-sign some of their own free agents.
  2. mwj473

    mwj473 Member

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    This makes it even more interesting:

    Texans’ Mathis charged with family violence
    By John Lowman
    The Facts
    Published February 19, 2008
    MANVEL — Houston Texans receiver Jerome Mathis was arrested on assault-family violence charges late Sunday after allegedly choking his pregnant girlfriend, Brazoria County Sheriff’s officials said.

    Mathis, 24, was booked into the Brazoria County jail at 9:26 p.m. Sunday and posted $3,000 bond at 11:11 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. He faces one charge of assault causing bodily injury under the family violence code, Patrol Capt. Richard Foreman said.

    Mathis allegedly pushed Erica Smith, 26, onto a bed during an argument in their home in the 3600 block of Tumbling Falls at about 11 p.m. Friday, Foreman said. The couple apparently discussed a cell-phone battery charger before the incident, he said.

    “She reported that he came home verbally aggressive toward her and left the residence, then came back a few minutes later demanding his car charger,” Foreman said. “He became angry while he looked for the charger, and when she gave it to him, he pushed her down on the bed and began choking her while putting all of his body weight on her.”

    Mathis is 6-1, 195 pounds and Smith is 5-10, 145 pounds, according to a police report. Smith told Mathis she was calling the police before he left the home in a vehicle, according to the report. Alcohol apparently was involved, the report states.

    When officers arrived at the home late Friday, they saw a red mark on Smith’s neck just below her jawbone, Foreman said.

    Smith reported no other injuries but was “worrying about her unborn baby,” Foreman said. She refused to be taken to a hospital and declined to press charges.

    But under the family violence code, either a person assaulted or the state can pursue charges, District Attorney Jeri Yenne said.

    “It’s not unusual. the State of Texas vs. an individual is the vast majority of assault cases we have,” Yenne said. “Particularly in family violence cases, officers are mandated to make an arrest when there’s evidence an assault was committed.

    “We’re going to treat this case like any other Class A assault,” Yenne said. “We’ll evaluate it based on the evidence.”

    The Texans had no detailed comment Monday afternoon.

    “We’re still gathering all the details and information,” team Vice President of Communications Tony Wyllie said. “That’s all we can say at this time.”

    The warrant for Mathis’ arrest was issued by Brazoria County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Gordon Starkenburg.

    All incidents of family violence are reported to the state, and if an alleged victim does not wish to press charges, state officials weigh the merits of a case, Sheriff Charles Wagner said. They chose to advance the Mathis incident because Smith is pregnant, he said.

    “When an officer responds to a call, it’s up to them to make the initial decision to pursue it or not,” Wagner said. “In this type of situation, we have no choice because of safety issues. If something else happened and we hadn’t done anything, it would be a miscarriage of justice.”

    Assault-family violence is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in county jail.

    In two separate incidents in December and January, Mathis was given seven citations for allowing animals to run at large and for harboring unvaccinated animals.

    In December, Mathis was given four citations after his adult pit bull chased a woman into her apartment in the 3800 block of CR 94 near Manvel and sent another couple onto the roof of a car to escape. He receive three citations in January for the pit bull and puppies being out in the same area again. No threatening behavior was noted in the January incident.

    Mathis, a wide receiver and kick returner, has been with the Texans since 2005. He was on the team’s injured reserve list and not on the active roster this season.

    John Lowman covers Brazoria County for The Facts. Contact him at (979) 849-8581.

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