- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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So now we know the whereabouts of one Mike Goodson: He's in his home state of Texas, according to his New Jersey-based attorney. We know he wasn't in New Jersey Thursday, missing a court appearance that prompted the judge to threaten him with arrest if he skips the next one, July 24. And we certainly know he wasn't at work last week, prompting the New York Jets to fire him.
There are many questions surrounding Goodson and his case. Here's one: Is he in violation of his bail by leaving the state of New Jersey, where he was arrested 13 months ago on weapons charges?
Superior Court judge Mary Gibbons Whipple said Goodson didn't inform the court that he was going home, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. Goodson's attorney, Alfred Gellene, claimed that Goodson had received permission in the past, adding, "I am assuming that he felt -- and our office felt -- that he was within confines of what was permissible, to have him go back at the time," per the Star-Ledger.
On Jan. 2, Goodson requested and received written permission from the court to go home to Texas "for the purposes of visitation with his family," according to court records obtained by ESPN.com. The timing made sense, considering the Jets' season had ended only four days earlier. The document, signed by Judge Whipple and presented to Goodson's legal team, clearly states the visitation window closed Jan. 14.
We know that Goodson made it back to New Jersey at least once, as Rex Ryan indicated last week that he saw him in the team's facility two or three months ago -- March or April. Now he's back in Texas, apparently without the court's blessing. Goodson's attorney didn't return a call for comment.
Goodson skipped the court appearance because of "financial issues" while trying to book a flight, according to Gellene. That might seem curious, considering he received a $1 million signing bonus last year from the Jets, but people who know Goodson aren't surprised. He's had a history of money problems, starting when he entered the NFL in 2009.
His attorney promised that Goodson will show up for the next hearing, which is Judge Whipple's version of a mandatory minicamp. On the same day, his former teammates will have their first training-camp practice. Is that a cruel or fitting coincidence?