San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was arrested in San Jose on Friday. Culliver was arrested for felony hit-and-run and possession of a weapon. He was arrested early on Friday morning after his vehicle allegedly struck a bicyclist. The weapon in question is a pair of brass knuckles, according to reports.
The report suggests that Culliver's vehicle stuck the bicyclist and then fled the scene, at which point an eyewitness cornered Culliver's vehicle. At that point, Culliver reportedly exited his vehicle, threatened the eyewitness with brass knuckles, returned to his car and fled the scene again. He also reportedly struck the eyewitness' car while fleeing.
Police eventually found Culliver and arrested him, and was booked for "felony hit and run for striking the bicyclist, reckless driving causing an injury, felony possession of brass knuckles and misdemeanor hit and run for striking the vehicle."
This is a bad scene overall, and sounds like Culliver made a pretty significant mistake. He's obviously innocent until proven guilty, but it's not pretty at first glance. Needless to say, it would be bad for the 49ers if they had to part ways with the cornerback given the team's current roster, but we'll save the bulk of that discussion for a later date.
For now, David Fucillo of Niners Nation took a look at all of the charges being levied against Culliver and what they mean, and here's a look at the felony hit-and-run below:
This comes from the initial accident in which he reportedly hit a bicyclist. Culliver reportedly took off from there, which is obviously a no-no. Under the motor vehicle code, he is required to immediately stop and exchange the necessary information. The level of injury determines how much potential punishment Culliver would face. The KTVU report described the bicyclists injuries as "minor".
Any injury in a hit-and-run creates a wobbler scenario, where the person can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. In this case, they went with a felony, which includes the following potential punishment:
(a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
KTVU, which broke the original story regarding Culliver, got a picture of his mugshot from authorities and tweeted it on Friday evening:
Here's what else you might have missed from Friday in the NFL:
The Philadelphia Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson on Friday. Said release came shortly after a report suggested that Jackson has been linked to gang affiliation. Jackson had a high cap hit for 2014, which was considered the driving force behind his release for much of this offseason, though it's unclear how much the potential off-the-field issues came into play.
For what it's worth, Jackson went on to thank the Eagles organization and deny the claims of gang affiliation. Shortly after that, reports came out that many teams were interested in his services. This is unsurprising, given Jackson's ability on the field and the fact that he's coming off the best season of his career. It would be surprising if there were not interested teams at this point, though it's unclear when he might sign with a new team.
Running back Knowshon Moreno was the top player at his position to hit the market this offseason, but you wouldn't know it from looking at his contract. Moreno signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, which is no small chunk of change, but low for a player that provided 13 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards from scrimmage last season. Moreno will be looking to repeat his performance and earn a bigger, long-term deal next offseason.
Former New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount probably entered this offseason believing he'd be able to land a big contract and a starting gig with an NFL team. On Friday, he signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that has already invested in a young running back with a similar running style in Le'Veon Bell. It's unclear if Blount will split carries or simply be a backup to Bell, who had a promising rookie season, but the folks at Behind The Steel Curtain seem to think a backup role is most likely:
Blount will presumably back up second-year RB Le'Veon Bell, a player who figures to receive a high amount of touches this season. Blount is a solid between-the-tackles power runner but won't contribute much on passing downs, leaving Bell unchallenged in that regard. Bell had 1,255 yards from scrimmage as a rookie in just 13 games - a Steelers rookie record.
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Oakland has big day in free agency
The Oakland Raiders didn't get free agency started in the best of ways, signing Rodger Saffold and then letting him go after a failed physical. But Friday saw a slew of moves that could wind up working out for the team. The first was to sign veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a three-year contract. Jones-Drew will likely compete with Darren McFadden for carries in 2014, but the two will almost certainly operate in tandem to keep the carry count down for longevity.
Following that, the Raiders re-signed defensive tackle Pat Sims, who should be a starter next season. Sims tested the market and didn't find anything particularly tantalizing, but should be on a watch-list for someone who could break out in 2014 and hit the market to much more interest next season. Then, the team added another defensive lineman in C.J. Wilson, who will likely be a depth player more than anything.
Center Ryan Wendell re-signed with the New England Patriots on Friday. Wendell had a fantastic 2012 campaign, but he regressed heavily in 2013, leading many to suggest he might be on his way out this offseason. But the Patriots have more than one hole on the interior of the offensive line, and Wendell has more value to them than other teams at this point. New England will probably look to address the position going forward, likely in the NFL Draft, but Wendell is currently slotted in to start next year.