KRL Posted April 7, 2015 Share Posted April 7, 2015 If he's gotten his life together it's an excellent pick up: http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2015/04/erin_henderson_troubled_linebacker_agrees_to_terms.html Erin Henderson, a linebacker whose career with the Vikings was cut short by substance abuse and a pair of DWI arrests, has agreed to terms with the Jets on a one-year contract, league sources told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday. The move fills another depth void for the Jets, who last week signed former Packers inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore to be a backup to starters Demario Davis and David Harris. And while there are risks, given Henderson's background, the Jets are satisfied that Henderson has turned his life around after multiple meetings with him that included an on-field workout in Arizona last month and a visit to Florham Park on Friday, sources said. Henderson, 28, has been out of the NFL since the Vikings cut him in February 2014, one month after his second arrest for DWI in a span of six weeks, with the latter involving a single-car crash that resulted in no injuries and charges of marijuana possession. In May, Henderson pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to two years' probation, according to Carver County (Minn.) court records. Henderson could be subject to discipline from the NFL under the terms of its substance-abuse policy. He was suspended for four games last September, but the Vikings had already cut him by then. An NFL spokesman did not immediately reply to an email about whether Henderson's suspension would carry over into 2015. Henderson has spent the last 15 months trying to get his life in order. He told TMZ he had checked into an inpatient rehab facility hours after he was released from jail. In a candid interview with USA Today last April, he admitted to having come to practice with a hangover at times, but that his second arrest was the "extra kick in the butt" he needed to face his demons and to try to get clean. A source said he was completely transparent and open about his past in his talks with the Jets. More from Henderson's USA Today interview from April 2014: "I've learned that substance abuse is often a byproduct of different things. For me, it was my way of numbing things and not having to worry about a lot of things. That's pretty much what I did. "When I look back on it, I realize that's not living. That's not life. You're supposed to feel certain things. You're supposed to have emotions. Life is not meant to just be coasted through. But one of the things they tell us a lot in rehab is there's nothing that a drink won't make worse." A source familiar with Henderson's situation said he moved with with his wife and son to Los Angeles after the Vikings cut him. He committed himself to focusing on his family and to working out in L.A. and Orlando, Fla., in the hopes of getting another shot at the NFL. Through a program administered by the NFL Players Association, Henderson has also been taking courses toward an MBA from the University of Miami (Fla.). Henderson had worked out for the Chiefs in February, a source said. He was not invited to the NFL's veteran combine in Arizona a few weeks back, but he instead arranged a private workout for teams around the same time. Six teams, including the Jets, sent scouting personnel to check him out. He later flew to San Francisco to work out for the 49ers, but after he left without a contract, Henderson visited the Jets last Friday. Henderson liked the family fit and feel the Jets offered, a source said. The Jets' staff, too, came away satisfied it would be worth it to extend him an offer. Henderson is one drink or toke away from going down the same spiral as before, but his openness seemed sincere, a source said. The two sides agreed to contract terms on Tuesday. A source said Henderson's deal will pay him $745,000, which is the league's veteran minimum. Henderson is expected to arrive back in Florham Park to sign his contract Wednesday morning. So what kind of player are the Jets getting? Henderson joined the league with the Vikings in 2008 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maryland. He played 22 games and made zero starts in his first three seasons before eventually settling in as a starter in 2011. Though he had been a 4-3 outside linebacker for a while with the Vikings, he later was moved inside. He had three sacks playing outside in 2012 and four on the inside in 2013. The Jets plan plan to play him on the inside, a source said, where their only backups are Lattimore and Mario Harvey. In 2013, Henderson signed a two-year contract with the Vikings worth $4 million. He left more than half that amount on the table by being released. "I like to call myself a recovering alcoholic," he said in that USA Today interview from last year. "I understand it's an ongoing battle. It's a lifelong thing. Anybody that's dealt with me, anybody in the Vikings organization, know that the things that transpired aren't me. That was a different person that had taken over my body, pretty much. "For me, it's nothing different than when I came out here to the Vikings as an undrafted free agent. Once I get on to a team and get on to a roster, I trust myself and believe myself. It's just a matter of somebody going out on a limb and trusting me." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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