Malik McDowell's playing days with the Seattle Seahawks are over before they even started.
The Seahawks waived the defensive end, a 2017 second-round pick out of Michigan State, with the non-football injury designation, the team announced Thursday.
McDowell, a Detroit native who attended Southfield High School, was selected No. 35 overall in 2017, but he never saw the field, after suffering a severe concussion in an ATV accident prior to the start of training camp a year ago. The team remained vague about his specific injuries throughout last season, but it became clear he might never suit up.
McDowell’s road to the NFL has been far from a smooth one. He made headlines the day he committed to Michigan State in February 2014 when his mother, Joya Crowe, refused to sign her son’s national letter of intent. She then went on a local radio show to reiterate how she wanted McDowell to play at one of the other three schools he was considering — Michigan, Ohio State or Florida State.
“I do not want him to go to Michigan State, but I’m OK with the other three schools,’” Crowe said on 105.1 FM. “That’s exactly what I told him, that’s how I feel.”
Nearly two months later, Crowe relented and McDowell ended up at Michigan State.
At 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, McDowell was a freshman All-American in 2014 and followed that up in 2015 by earning second-team All-Big Ten honors while helping the Spartans reach the College Football Playoffs. He had 13 tackles for loss, including 4.5 sacks and was primed for a big season in 2016.
However, the breakout never came as Michigan State was mired in a miserable 3-9 season. There were whispers of the locker room chemistry breaking down, and McDowell appeared at times during the year to be lacking effort.
He still started eight games, including three at defensive end, while earning second-team All-American honors from CBSsports.com.
The Seahawks drafted him in the second round, but his time there appeared rocky. In addition to the ATV accident, McDowell was arrested in December outside a night club in Atlanta because of a dispute over a $600 bill.
Video showed McDowell berating police officers during his arrest outside the SL Lounge in Chamblee, Ga. In the video obtained by TMZ Sports, McDowell can be heard calling the officers names using profanity, brags about his “lawyer” money, and at one point accusing officers of trying to “plant” evidence as they put him in handcuffs.
McDowell later apologized on Twitter.
“I am embarrassed by the situation and my actions Saturday,” McDowell wrote. “I would like to apologize to the Atlanta Police Department, SL Lounge, the entire Seattle Seahawks organization and my teammates. I am a young man who made a mistake and am constantly working towards getting better.”
Cornerback DeAndre Elliott were also released ahead of Seattle’s first practice. The Seahawks also placed safety Kam Chancellor on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The procedural move was expected after Chancellor announced he was unlikely to play again due to a neck injury but didn’t officially retire due to his contract.