The NFL career of former Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell never had the chance to begin after being drafted in 2017 NFL Draft. The Seahawks were the team to select the MSU alumni, but he never got to showcase his talent in an NFL game. Because of this, the team wants McDowell to repay a portion of his signing bonus.
As of Wednesday, the Seahawks filed suit in federal court against McDowell. The statement being that its former draft pick neglected to pay back $799,238 to the team.
After suffering a head injury in an ATV accident, the defensive lineman was never cleared to play. Because the injury was not football related, McDowell was in breach of his contract and ordered to pay back a partial amount of his $1,599,238 signing bonus. The Seahawks withheld $800,000 of McDowell’s bonus for 2018. Ultimately, he was never paid for 2018, leaving him with the payback total of $799,238.
The arbitrator ruling was made on February 27, 2019. Since then, McDowell has not repaid any money to the Seahawks organization. In addition, it has been reported that the former second-round draft pick did not appeal within the 10-day window nor did he dispute the ruling.
McDowell’s NFL Future
At Michigan State University, McDowell proved to be a second-team All-American in 2016. The defensive lineman collected a total of 88 combined tackles, 24.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks in his three years at MSU. McDowell then opted out of his final season and entered the NFL Draft in 2017.
Although McDowell is not signed with an NFL team, he still has attracted some interest in teams. He reportedly had a visit with the Dallas Cowboys but still remains unsigned.
The biggest issue teams find with the MSU alumni is his questionable health. Although it has been reported that McDowell’s doctors believe he is “ready to go,” it has been over a year since he has last placed. The defensive lineman’s NFL future is unclear but still remains hopeful.
Feature Image Credit: Ted S. Warren, Associated Press