New York Jets running back Mike Goodson is facing drug and weapons charges after he was found in a car with an acquaintance early Friday morning on Interstate 80 in New Jersey.
According to state police, Goodson was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 31-year-old Garant Evans of Roselle. After receiving a 911 call from a tow-truck driver at about 3:15 a.m., police found them stopped in the left-center lane of Interstate 80 west in Denville, about 25 miles west of New York City.
State Police Sergeant Adam Grossman said both men were charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and weapons offenses stemming from a 45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, that included a hollow-point bullet, found in the vehicle. Grossman wouldn’t say whether either man was the registered owner of the gun.
Both men were being held Friday pending transfer to the Morris County jail, Evans on $150,000 bail and Goodson on $50,000 bail. It wasn’t immediately known when they were scheduled to appear in court.
‘‘This is a pending legal matter,’’ a Jets spokesman said. ‘‘There will be no further comment until the legal process has run its course.’’
The 25-year-old Goodson, from Spring, Texas, played three seasons for Carolina and one for Oakland before the Jets signed him to a three-year, $6.9 million deal, which includes a $1 million signing bonus, in March.
Goodson was drafted by the Panthers in the fourth round out of Texas A&M and has played in 40 games in the NFL, rushing for 722 yards and three touchdowns on 160 carries. He also has 59 receptions for 524 yards and a score.
He spent last season with Oakland as a backup to Darren McFadden, and ran for 221 yards and caught 16 passes for 195 yards. Goodson was expected to compete for playing time with Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, and Joe McKnight, and was brought in to be an asset in new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast system because of his speed and ability to catch the ball.
Two weeks ago, the Jets cut defensive end Claude Davis and cornerback Cliff Harris a day after they were arrested and charged with marijuana possession in Morristown, several miles from where Goodson was arrested.
The Jets train in nearby Florham Park.
Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season after the league announced he violated the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Irvin will be eligible to participate in all offseason activities and preseason practices and games, but will be suspended without pay for the opening four games. Irvin will be eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 30 following the Seahawks’ game against the Texans.
‘‘I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches, and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption,’’ Irvin said in a statement released by the team. ‘‘I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.’’
Irvin’s loss could be a significant blow for a team that has become a popular pick to contend for a spot in the Super Bowl. Irvin was expected to start at defensive end with Chris Clemons, who is likely to miss the start of the season while recovering from knee surgery after being injured in Seattle’s playoff win at Washington in January.
The 15th pick in the 2012 draft, Irvin finished his rookie season with eight sacks, but had just one in the final six weeks of the regular season.
Irvin’s suspension also continues a troubling trend of Seattle players running afoul of the league’s policies on banned substances. Since 2011, five Seahawks players — John Moffitt, Allen Barbre, Winston Guy, Brandon Browner, and Irvin — have received four-game suspensions.
Charles Woodson has another team interested in signing him. Woodson’s agent, Carl Poston, told the Associated Press that the 36-year-old defensive back will visit with the Raiders on Tuesday. Poston says the Giants and Panthers, along with a couple other teams who he says don’t want to be mentioned, have also contacted him about the eight-time Pro Bowl player. Woodson spent his first eight seasons in Oakland. Green Bay cut him in a salary-cap move three months ago . . . The Cowboys have significantly reduced right tackle Doug Free’s salary after a difficult season that ended with him as a part-time player. The Cowboys reworked the final two years of Free’s contract, and he will make $3.5 million in 2013 instead of $7 million. Dallas probably would have cut Free if the five-year veteran had rejected a salary cut. Free is now set to make another $3.5 million in 2014, but that money isn’t guaranteed . . . Former Lions wide receiver Titus Young’s legal problems are only getting worse. According to Riverside (Calif.) County court documents, his son’s mother, Marjani Maldonado, filed for a permanent restraining order against him on Thursday, citing a threat of domestic violence. Maldonado first requested a restraining order May 8, three days after Young was arrested twice in one day.