GM 'extremely' disappointed in Rodriguez
June, 4, 2013
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastEvan Rodriguez talks with reporters after an OTA on Tuesday at Halas Hall.LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery expressed disappointment Tuesday over fullback/tight end Evan Rodriguez's latest offseason arrest. On Friday, Illinois State Police charged Rodriguez with driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane change.
"Evan is a very likeable guy," Emery said at the conclusion of Tuesday's OTA workout. "We have talked. Disappointed. I would use the word extremely. And we'll leave it at that.
"There are a lot of things we have to work through. All off-the-field incidents are subject to NFL policies and guidelines. We've got to work through these things."
This marked Rodriguez's second run-in with the law this offseason. The Bears' 2012 fourth-round pick was arrested in Miami Beach, Fla., in March and charged with resisting an officer without violence and disorderly intoxication after a car in which he was a passenger was involved in a traffic incident. Prosecutors eventually dropped those charges against Rodriguez, who also had several documented off-the-field problems in college at West Virginia and Temple.
Although Rodriguez could eventually be suspended by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy, he was present at Tuesday's session, when he briefly answered questions from reporters about the latest incident.
"First of all, I apologize to the whole organization and my family and my teammates," Rodriguez said. "I know I made a poor judgment that night. I also have to earn my teammates' trust back and the coaches' trust back, so I can say a whole bunch of words, but I have to lead by my actions.
"I just have to face the music. Anything that's going to happen, I just have to handle it and be a man about my whole approach about everything.
"Just (have to be) more responsible, and I have to hold myself more to a higher standard and be more accountable for my actions."
Rodriguez contributed little on the field for the Bears last year in his rookie season, catching four passes for 21 yards and zero touchdowns.
Emery said the organization still envisions a larger role for Rodriguez despite all his legal troubles.
"Evan has been involved in our offense, just as all the players have in learning the offense and being involved," Emery said. "Obviously, we drafted him with roles in mind and we were working toward fulfilling that and will continue to do so."