Rams' Wroten arrested on LSU campus, faces misdemeanor
By Len Pasquarelli
Second-year defensive tackle Claude Wroten, expected to assume a significant role with the St. Louis Rams this season, faces misdemeanor charges in Louisiana and possible league scrutiny as well, following an alleged incident last week on the LSU campus.
A spokesman for the LSU police department confirmed Wroten was arrested late last week and charged with criminal damage to property after an alleged argument with a girlfriend who had told him she was ending their relationship.
According to Maj. Lawrence Rabalais of the LSU police, Wroten kicked down the door to the girlfriend's campus apartment and forcibly entered the residence after she refused to return items he had asked her to return to him.
Wroten, 23, was taken to the offices of the LSU police in handcuffs, issued a summons and released. He remains free pending a hearing, the date for which has not yet been set.
Rams coach Scott Linehan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he is aware of the incident but has not yet spoken to Wroten, and declined further comment. Wroten did not return messages left on his cell phone.
Depending on its resolution, the incident could subject Wroten to review under the NFL's personal conduct policy and possible league sanctions.
In 2006, Len Pasquarelli proflied Claude Wroten, who, as an LSU prospect awaiting draft day, took the unusual step of sending a letter to all 32 NFL personnel directors taking responsibility for past missteps and vowing he would not make such mistakes again.
Also in 2006, Wroten was arrested and cited for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a charge he passionately denied to ESPN.com, and which subsequently was dropped. But he then tested positive for marijuana at the NFL scouting combine in February 2006 and his draft stock plummeted.
Once regarded as a first-round prospect, after a college career in which he demonstrated rare inside pass-rush skills, Wroten slipped to the third round, the 68th overall slot in the draft. Wroten signed a four-year, $2.41 million contract that included an $805,000 signing bonus.
As a rookie, Wroten appeared in 15 games, all as a backup, and registered 15 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. With the trade of former first-round tackle Jimmy Kennedy to Denver earlier this spring, Wroten was projected as no worse than a rotational player for the Rams, with the possibility of earning a starting job.
St. Louis coaches said last month that Wroten, who told the Post-Dispatch at the time that his off-field problems were "totally behind (him)," enjoyed a solid spring in the Rams' minicamps and organized team activities (OTAs) sessions.
"He's to talented for this, he better be careful before they tag him with that label(repeat offender). Besides Claude there's a better way to get your blingage back."
Someone needs anger management classes.
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