Ravens' McAlister arrested for DUI

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Northern Virginia days after playing against the Atlanta Falcons, according to a Virginia state police spokesperson. McAlister missed Monday's practice for undisclosed personal reasons, according to Ravens coach Brian Billick. However, McAlister was charged with DUI at 2:36 a.m. Monday morning in Fairfax County, Va., after being pulled over for speeding by a state highway trooper.

He didn't report to training camp at McDaniel College until 7 p.m. Monday evening.

"First of all there's due process, so he'll have an opportunity for due process," Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said. "It's disappointing news. Driving under the influence is a serious matter."

McAlister, 26, has already met with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and Billick, Byrne said.

Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, McAlister will be allowed to play despite the arrest.

If McAlister was convicted or plead guilty to an alcohol-related offense, that would automatically trigger a mandatory evaluation by a doctor under the NFL's substance-abuse program. That would put him in the first stage of the league's program.

If McAlister was to enter the program, he would be subject to a four-game suspension if a second offense, or strike, occurred. A third offense entails a one-year suspension.

The league's substance-abuse policies are subject to confidentiality rules. Even if the Ravens wanted to punish McAlister beyond whatever potentially is handed down by the Virginia court system or at a league level, they wouldn't be able to because of the collective bargaining agreement ratified between the owners and NFL Players' Association.

McAlister was drafted in the first round by the Ravens in 1999 out of the University of Arizona and has career totals of 244 tackles, 11 interceptions and 85 pass deflections.

McAlister led the Ravens with 24 pass deflections last season and returned a missed field goal 107 yards for the longest play in NFL history against the Denver Broncos.

He's being paid $5.962 million this season under a one-year franchise tag, the average of the top five salaries at the cornerback position. Newsome has said several times this off-season that his goal is to negotiate a long-term contract extension with McAlister.

McAlister has also professed several times that he has matured on and off the field and wants to show that he's deserving of a Pro Bowl selection. When he reported to training camp and signed his one-year tender, McAlister said he wanted to prove himself this fall.

"I want to prove a point this year that whatever happens with the contract that I am the best," McAlister said. "I'm just here to prove one thing: that I am the best at what I do and I should be paid accordingly."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

Ravens Insider Top Stories