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Dolphins Sign Player Who Was Arrested 3 Times in 3 Months

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The Miami Dolphins signed a player who’s better known for his off-the-field actions than anything he’s done in the NFL.

The Dolphins signed running back Mark Walton, 22, who has been arrested three times in the past three months.

That prompted his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals, to release him in April.

“It’s important for our team to get off to a fresh start as we begin the 2019 season,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “For that reason, we felt it best if we move forward without Mark Walton.

“We hope his situation gets resolved, but we don’t want to take anything away from the good work that so many other players have already begun to demonstrate.”

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Enter the Dolphins, who signed Walton on Sunday after bringing him in for a tryout Saturday.

Should the Dolphins have signed Walton?

“I think people deserve a second chance. I believe that,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores told reporters. “I think that’s the case. I don’t want to judge people based on one incident, two incidents. I think it’s a case-by-case situation for a player and just for people in general. That’s kind of my stance.”

It’s actually three incidents, coach.

Walton, who grew up in Miami and played college football at the University of Miami, was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in North Miami-Dade in January, the Miami Herald reported.

Then, in February, he was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after getting into an argument with a couple in front of the condo complex where he lives in Miami. Police say he snatched the cellphone out of the hand of the woman during the confrontation, the Herald reported.

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In April, Walton was arrested on felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon, marijuana possession and reckless driving stemming from an incident on March 12 in the Miami area, according to the Herald.

Police say they pulled over Walton for speeding and reckless driving, the Herald reported. He allegedly got out of the car and fled on foot. The report said police shot Walton in the back with a Taser stun gun.

“But Walton dislodged the electrified prongs, ran off and vanished, police said,” the Herald reported. Police searched the car and allegedly found 14 grams of marijuana and a 9mm carbine rifle along with several fully loaded clips, the Herald reported. The report said Walton had legally purchased the rifle.

Walton is awaiting trial on all three charges.

The running back struggled with injuries at the University of Miami, but he was named the Hurricanes’ MVP in 2016 after running for 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns.

A fourth-round pick by the Bengals in 2018, Walton played in 14 games his rookie season, gaining 34 yards on 14 carries on the ground and catching five passes for 41 yards.

“Coach Flores, from the few days I’ve been here, I see he is a competitive guy and he wants to win,” Walton said after his tryout with the Dolphins, reported the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I can just look at it the way he brought me in, and that shows a first-year head coach, he’s bringing me in with the rough offseason I’ve had. It shows a lot about him and his character.”

“I’m just thankful to be here,” the running back said.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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