Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

NFL Doesn't Give Washington A Chance


Throughout the NFL Draft, you undoubtedly heard the stories of those players that slipped due to falling under the broad scope of "character issues."

This year, the stories have become more magnified, thanks in part to the recent suspension of Ben Roethlisbergerand a more stern disciplinarian in league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Dez Bryant's handling of his contact with Deion Sanders and his subsequent lax attitude around workouts resulted in him slipping from a potential top 10 pick to No. 24. Aaron Hernandez slipped a couple rounds due to reports of his marijuana use, though exactly how many tests he failed has been up for debate.

Offensive lineman Tony Washington runs during practice drills during the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine.
Getty Images

But, out of all those who were draft eligible this past weekend, no one has been labeled by NFL teams more "off limits" than Tony Washington, an offensive tackle from Abilene Christian, who some people had going as early as the late portion of the second round.

Washington wasn't picked in the second round. Or the third, fourth or fifth, for that matter. Not in the sixth or seventh rounds either.

And in the hours after the draft, when teams sign free agent contracts, or in some cases, just give guys a chance to try out, Washington's agent Vann McElroy didn't get a single call.

McElroy confirmed to when Washington was 16, he was convicted of having sex with his biological sister. He served two weeks of jail time and received five years of probation and was subsequently registered in Texas as a sex offender.

But that was seven years ago. And Washington's agent told that he had no indication that not a single team wouldn't call.

"I'm in complete shock," McElroy said. "I feel so bad for this kid. This is something that happened seven years ago and, probably because of the Roethlisberger situation, he hasn't been called."

"We spent hours of our time, providing letters, testimonials from people to tell this kid's story," McElroy said. "It isn't like he's some pervert hanging around in the bushes. He's a good kid who screwed up, who since then was accepted by the board and admitted to one of the most conservative colleges out there."

McElroy said that "maybe four teams" said they wouldn't draft Washington.

"Other than that, all I heard was, 'Maybe we can't take him early because of the publicity, but we'd consider him in the later rounds,'" he said.

McElroy, who played in the league for 11 years and has been an agent for 18 more, says that he's wondering if the league instructed teams that Washington was not to be called. When contacted by, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that the league did not tell teams that Washington could not be contacted.

Said McElroy, "Someone should give this kid a chance."

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