Former FSU receiver arrested
Gardner faces marijuana, gun charges
BY STEPHEN F. HOLDER
Former Florida State star and aspiring NFL receiver Talman Gardner was arrested early Monday when he was caught with a concealed, loaded handgun and a small amount of marijuana in Tallahassee.
Gardner and another former Seminole, defensive back Malcolm Tatum, were booked into the Leon County jail Monday morning, with Gardner facing the more serious accusations. FSU's second-leading receiver last season, Gardner was detained on charges of possession of a concealed firearm, a third-degree felony, and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, a first-degree misdemeanor.
He was released on $1,500 bail, but the damage the arrest will do to his NFL draft status could cost far more. In Florida, a third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison. A criminal background check of Gardner, a New Orleans native, revealed no prior convictions in Florida.
Tatum, a Miami resident and former Killian High star who was a senior reserve cornerback last season, was arrested because of an outstanding $108 court fee, which he paid before being released Monday. Tatum was not charged with any crime.
Capitol Police, who patrol state facilities in Tallahassee, spotted the pair in Gardner's car at about 1:30 a.m. and pulled them over because of suspicious activity, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Jennie Khoen.
After smelling marijuana fumes, officers were given consent to search the vehicle. They later discovered Gardner's semi-automatic handgun hidden in the car, and a small bag of marijuana in his pants pocket. Gardner does not have a concealed-weapon permit.
With the NFL draft scheduled for April 26-27, Gardner's alleged offenses come at an inopportune time. While an NFL Players' Association official said Gardner's draft eligibility will not be affected, his draft stock could be damaged significantly.
Gardner ranks among the draft's top 100 players according to many analysts, with some rating him as a top 10 receiver. He has been projected as a possible third-round pick. But with a fair amount of depth at the position in this draft, it would be no surprise if teams choose to look elsewhere.
''It's definitely going to hurt him,'' an NFL source said. ``Don't get me wrong, teams want to win. But with all the emphasis on character flaws these days, with clauses in the contracts and all, teams are starting to pay more attention to this kind of stuff -- especially when the guy isn't a first-round pick.''
Gardner caught 38 passes for 625 yards and eight touchdowns last season, highlighted by a 109-yard performance at Maryland. He could not be reached for comment.
[quote][i]Originally posted by Manny B[/i]@Apr 8 2003, 03:54 PM
[b] He could be the next Cole$ of the NFL. Maybe we should draft him. [/b][/quote]
Most posters on this site have been emphatic about the fact that "Coles Sucks" now that he is not with the Jets!!
So, why would you want to waste a pick on Gardner? :wacko:
Anybody on this site who says Cole$ sucks is talking with thier heart and not their mind. Coles did and does not suck, he is just not worth what Washington paid him, plain and simple. Cole$ could be a pro bowl reciever next year, but I doubt it and yet he is getting all pro money.