ORLANDO - Christopher Johnson admitted he's "really disappointed" in both Robby Anderson and Dylan Donahue, the two most recent Jets to be arrested. Still, he promised to support both players.
At least to a point.
"My patience isn't infinite," the Jets owner said at the NFL owners meetings on Sunday. "I expect these guys to straighten up and I'm going to talk to them about that."
That was both a warning and a show of compassion from the Jets owner, who seemed to clearly be struggling with the issue. When he was first asked about the two recent arrests, he looked away and paused before expressing his disappointment. But he also added, "I think these guys deserve the support of the team. They deserve a second chance. We have a really good support system with the team. And I think we can help these guys."
Both players clearly need some sort of help after their most recent incidents. Anderson, who has now been arrested twice in the last year, was arrested in January after he was pulled over for speeding, and then resisted arrest. According to the police report, he also threatened to sexually assault the wife of the arresting officer.
Donahue was arrested in February for DUI after driving the wrong way through the Lincoln Tunnel, and causing an accident.
The arrest of Anderson was particularly troublesome to Johnson, who said he "became pretty good friends" with the 24-year-old receiver last season. It wasn't just that it was his second arrest in a short period of time. It was that the details in the arrest report were particularly vulgar.
Johnson said he spoke to Anderson and said, "I think he is remorseful, he is trying to get himself in a better place, and I believe him." But Johnson had trouble answering the question of what he'd say to a parent who bought their child an Anderson jersey, only to read the troubling details of his recent arrest.
"That's a really good question," Johnson said. "I'm really hopeful that Robby will put this kind of thing behind him and that he will be the kind of person - forget about his playing, he's an incredible football player. But that he'll be the kind of person all around that will make people proud to wear the No. 11 jersey."
Not surprisingly, Johnson said he wants Anderson back on the team, but he added that he wouldn't stand in the way of GM Mike Maccagnan or coach Todd Bowles if they chose to get rid of him. It seemed clear that he wouldn't step in after these arrests and demand that either player be released.
Johnson also said he didn't believe his team had a discipline problem, even though there have been other arrests and incidents involving Jets players over the last several years.
"I don't think so," Johnson said. "I really don't. Because I think we can get these guys back on track. Young men are sometimes young men. They make silly mistakes. I'm hopeful that we can be part of helping them become better people."