The Miami Dolphins cut starting running back Mark Walton, a University of Miami product, this morning. Walton had been suspended for four games during the offseason after being arrested for violating substance and conduct policies. He was released by the Cincinnati Bengals, picked up by the Dolphins and was set to return next week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In a statement, general manager Chris Grier said: “We were made aware of a police matter earlier this morning regarding Mark Walton. We hold our players to a high standard and take these matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time.”
BREAKING: Dolphins have waive RB Mark Walton.
“We were made aware of a police matter earlier this morning regarding Mark Walton. We hold our players to a high standard and take these matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time,” said GM Chris Grier.
— Will Manso (@WillMansoWPLG) November 19, 2019
It was later reported by Andy Slater that Walton had been arrested for allegedly “punching a woman several times in the face and head.” A police document stated the woman was five weeks pregnant with Walton’s child. Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reported that Walton was arrested by Davie police at 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
Walton’s removal from the roster follows a history of NFL running backs being abusive to their children and spouses. In 2014, a warrant was issued for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s arrest, charging reckless or negligent injury to a child. It was later disclosed that he was hitting his kids with a switch and to this day, says he still whips his kids with a belt. In 2014 while at Oklahoma University, Joe Mixon, now a running back for the Cincinnati Bengals, was caught on video punching a female student in the face.
In that same year, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on video punching his now-wife Janay Rice. It doesn’t stop at running backs. A search of USA Today database produced 126 search results, including players who have been accused of domestic violence. Many of these charges were dropped by prosecutors.
Walton’s probation was the result of a plea deal from August. The deal took his original five-year jail sentence down to 60 days. He was the lead back for the Dolphins, so now the already weak team is looking for a new starting back. With Kalen Ballage averaging 1.9 yards per carry, look for Patrick Laird or Myles Gaskin to start for the remainder of the season.