Matt Elam's status as one of the Ravens' biggest draft busts has long been secure. It doesn't appear that the 2013 first-round pick will be getting an opportunity with another NFL team anytime soon either.
The 25-year-old NFL free agent was arrested Monday in South Florida for the second time in less than three months. According to jail and police records, Elam was booked at the Main Detention Center in Palm Beach County at 8:48 a.m. Monday and charged with larceny grand theft and battery after a dispute with his girlfriend over a cellphone. As of early Monday night, he was still being held on $4,500 bond.
Elam's latest arrest only increases the already strong possibility that his once-promising NFL career is over after he played just 41 games during parts of four seasons with the Ravens.
After playing only nine games and for 53 total defensive snaps last season, Elam was set to become a free agent in March. However, his playing status was further clouded when he was arrested in Miami in late February and charged with marijuana possession of more than 20 grams, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving.
In a statement after that arrest, the Ravens said Elam was not in the organization's future plans. Still without a team, Elam now has another legal problem to confront.
According to a police report, Delray Beach Police were called to the home of Elam's girlfriend just before 4 a.m. Monday in reference to a possible assault.
Elam's girlfriend told police that the former Raven arrived at her home to pick up his car and the two got into an altercation that resulted in both ending up on the ground trying to gain possession of a cellphone, the police report said. Elam ultimately gained control of the phone and left the area on foot.
Police questioned him about 90 minutes later at a nearby residence and he acknowledged to police that he had asked his girlfriend for money and when she refused, he grabbed her cellphone from her hands. He claimed that the phone was his because he had bought it for her. Elam told police that after he grabbed her phone, his girlfriend went into his vehicle and took his phone. He then left the area.
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According to the police report, Elam's girlfriend suffered a small cut on her right index finger and left foot in the altercation. Elam told police that the two have been dating and living together for the past two years.
Elam's stint with the Ravens, who made him their first pick after their victory in Super Bowl XLVII and hoped he'd become a suitable replacement for franchise stalwart Ed Reed, included just 26 starts, one interception, one NFL suspension and two significant injuries that cost him all of the 2015 season and half of the 2016 campaign.
The former University of Florida standout started 15 games as a rookie in 2013, but his struggles in coverage resulted in his losing his starting job during the 2014 regular season. His poor tackling loomed large in the Ravens blowing a two-touchdown lead in their AFC divisional-round playoff loss to the New England Patriots after the 2014 regular season.
Elam missed all of 2015 after he tore his biceps in training camp and then a knee injury, suffered in the preseason, prompted him to spend the first seven games of 2016 on injured reserve. When he returned, he played primarily on special teams.
The Ravens weren't expected to re-sign him anyway, but his first arrest in late February made that a certainty. If another team is willing to give him a second chance, Elam is subject to league discipline before he'd be able to return to the field and play in a regular-season game.