NFL decision-makers weigh in on what’s next for Jalen Carter following arrest warrant
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NFL decision-makers weigh in on Jalen Carter following arrest warrant
Jalen Carter arrived in Indianapolis this week as one of the most discussed prospects. That continued on Wednesday, but not in a way anyone seriously imagined when the week began.
An arrest warrant was issued for Carter on Wednesday morning on misdemeanor charges for reckless driving and racing. The charges stem from the January 15 crash that saw Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy both lose their lives. Carter allegedly was racing alongside LeCroy, whose car was going 104 miles shortly before the crash.
Carter was set to speak to reporters but that did not end up happening following the statement made by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. Instead, Carter released a statement explaining his next steps.
“This morning I received a telephone call from the Athens Georgia Police Department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing. Numerous media reports also have circulated this morning containing inaccurate information concerning the tragic events of January 15, 2023,” Carter said in his statement. “It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”
Carter turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday night, as he was booked at 11:33 p.m. ET and posted bond at 11:49 p.m.
Related: Jalen Carter turns himself in, released on bond for reckless driving, racing charges
Carter was not going to work out for teams in Indianapolis this week, as he previously opted to work out for teams at Georgia’s pro day on March 15. Whether that still ends up happening will be a major story to watch.
Carter did meet with several teams this week, but all of that came prior to Wednesday’s news.
“We did meet with Jalen. We met with him Monday night,” Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said. “He did a nice job with us, no issues there. I did not know about the situation that came out this morning. There would be a lot of things to look into. I just don’t want to jump into any conclusions, we’ll let it all play out and make a decision. Luckily, the draft is not till April.
Fitterer and the Panthers currently have the No. 9 pick in the draft. It seemed highly unlikely that Carter would fall to that point in the draft at the start of the week.
But now much of Carter’s draft status has now been cast into doubt. Fitterer was far from the only NFL decision-maker to echo uncertainty regarding what comes next. Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, who just hired Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, voiced similar opinions to that of Fitterer.
New Houston Texans coach Demeco Ryans, who himself has gone through the NFL draft process as a player, put the discussion about Carter into proper perspective when he was asked about the standout defensive tackle.
“I don’t know much about the situation,” Ryans said. “What I would say about it is someones’ lives were lost. Whatever the situation is, I think you just think about those families who lost loved ones and you put that in the forefront. That’s the most important thing.”
Georgia teammate Nolan Smith did defend Carter on Wednesday morning prior to the arrest warrant being issued. He let reporters know that Carter was misunderstood and stressed his love of football.