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Matthias Askew signed by Redskins

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I believe it was mentioned in the same release yesterday as the cutting of Espy and Harris though I neglected to say anything on it. The Redskins signed Matthias Askew:

REDSKINS SIGN ASKEW: The Washington Redskins signed defensive tackle Matthias Askew, bringing back a player they waived before last season.

The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Askew played in five games in 2004 and one in 2005 with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him in the fourth round out of Michigan State.

He's a young, fourth round talent defensive tackle. I'm on board. But why is he no longer with the Bengals? As the team said it in 2006, it was performance based:
A 2004 fourth-round draft choice out of Michigan State, Askew has been plagued by injuries.

"He wasn't going to make our football team at this point," coach Marvin Lewis said. "It's an opportunity for Matthias to catch on with another team. Other guys were playing better."

I find that dubious. As the linked CBS article above immediately goes on to document, the Cincy Bengals were having extended stretches of dumb luck with law enforcement at the time and was under ever increasing public pressure to do something about it's not-so-pristine image as a football franchise. At least one person who would know better than I do agreed, emphasis added:
I'm sure a number of things contributed to his release. Arrests and injuries are -- I'm guessing here -- the main reasons.
Arrests suggests the general reaction by the team towards a player who was arrested; we're not talking about Matthias Askew singularly here, because he wasn't subject to arrests but rather just arrest. The gruesome details:
Officers trying to arrest Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Matthias Askew after a parking violation used a Taser to subdue him and charged him with resisting arrest.

The 24-year-old Askew struggled with officers trying to handcuff him Saturday evening and broke away before he was shocked, police spokesman Lt. Tom Lanter said. Askew ignored an officer's warning to move his illegally parked car and then refused to give his identification, Lanter said.

Ken Lawson, Askew's attorney for this matter, said the police lied. As he tells it:
On Monday, Askew's lawyer disputed that version of events, saying officers shocked Askew at least three times.

"They are trying to make this look like it was all Matthias' fault ... so they could justify the use of force," attorney Ken Lawson said. "He always complied."

So who to believe? Apparently the court thought Ken Lawson made some compelling points, as Matthias Askew was acquitted on all charges. Naturally, Mr. Askew was flustered at the process -- if not its conclusion -- and responded legally with a $50 Million dollar lawsuit of his own against the city of Cincy:
Former Bengals defensive tackle Matthias Askew filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city, accusing police officers of excessive force when they used a stun gun to subdue him while making an arrest in July.

 The suit contends Askew was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted. It asks that the police department's policy on the use of force be declared unconstitutional.

I've been unable to track down the disposition of that case though would note that Askew is 1 for 1 against the state.

This is actually Askew's 2nd stint with the team as he was signed but later cut in 2007. I don't know to what extent the legal issues (which he resolved in his favor, incidentally) have affected his ability to find a new home since Cincy, but he has not had a significant impact in his professional career. Injuries have also hampered him. I wish him the best in Washington and to the city of Cincinnatti I would suggest the following:

Don't taze Matthias Askew, bro!