Malik McDowell is still planning an NFL return. Just 24 years old, the former 2017 second round pick of the Seahawks is appearing at the College Gridiron Showcase free agent event, hoping to get another look from NFL teams.
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the CGS runs from January 17 to January 21. During the CGS weigh ins, I’m told McDowell measured in at 6-foot-6, 280 pounds. This is 15 pounds lighter than his combine weight of 295 pounds, suggesting McDowell wants to showcase his quickness, pass rush ability, and potential scheme versatility. At his 2017 combine size, McDowell ran a 4.85-second 40-yarddash featuring a 1.69 10-yard split.
McDowell’s career in Seattle was cut short following an ATV accident. The Michigan State alum was placed on the reserve/did not report list on July 30, 2017 and then landed on the Non-Football Injury list on August 3. In July 2018, McDowell was waived by the Seahawks with the Non Football Injury designation. The team released him on March 2, 2019 after failing to play a single snap for the team.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported in April 2018 that McDowell suffered “extensive brain/eye trauma” as a result of the accident.
With McDowell ruled out for the 2017 season, Seattle traded for Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets, sending a 2018 second round pick and receiver Jermaine Kearse while also swapping seventh-round picks as compensation.
McDowell experienced multiple run ins with the law after his accident: a September 2017 DUI, a December 2017 disorderly conduct arrest, a February 2019 altercation with police that resulted in assault, resisting arrest, and OVI charges, and an April 2019 receiving and concealing stolen property arrest after police found a stolen car in his possession.
The Seahawks also filed a lawsuit against McDowell in May 2019 after he failed to repay $799,238 of his signing bonus. He was suspended for the first two weeks of the 2019 NFL season for the February 2019 incident.
On October 23, 2019, McDowell pleaded guilty to his 2019 criminal charges. He was sentenced to 11 months in prison on November 13, 2019. Per TMZ, McDowell’s sentencing included a judge order that he write four essays within 90 days.
Among the topics, McDowell was asked to write 1,000 words on “Finding Meaning In Life Other Than Committing Crimes,’’ 750 words on “Principles of Declaration of Independence and How Your Behavior Undermines Them,” 750 words on the “Importance of Respecting the Rule of Law’,’ and 750 words on the “Importance of Respecting Property Rights.’’
In March 2019 at the NFL owners meetings, McDowell’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said an independent doctor had medically cleared McDowell to play football. He last worked out for the Miami Dolphins in October 2020 and will turn 25 in June.