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Athletes in trouble with the law in 2014

Minnesota Vikings runningback Adrian Peterson will be returned to an exempt list pending the NFL appeal. File, AP Photo/Jim Mone

Adrian Peterson

After it was reported Sept. 12, 2014 that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had been indicted in Texas for "reckless or negligent injury" when he disciplined his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, the 29-year-old star athlete was deactivated by the Vikings pending the resolution of his legal issues.

Peterson was previously arrested in an unrelated incident on July 7, 2012 for resisting arrest.

Ray Rice

A still image from a February 2014 surveillance camera video shows Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator at the Revel casino in Atlantic City, N.J. AP/TMZ

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, 27, was dropped by his team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL following the September release of elevator surveillance footage from February 2014 which showed Rice punch his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, knocking her unconscious in Atlantic City, N.J. He avoided trial on an assault charge in May when he was accepted into a diversionary program to address his domestic abuse.

The NFL's initial handling of the incident drew criticism from fans and the media after Rice was originally given just a 2-game suspension by the league. However, after further review of the case, Rice was then given an indefinite suspension by the league. In November, Rice appealed the suspension and won his case.

He is now eligible to play for any team in the NFL, but is currently unsigned as a free agent.

Jonathan Dwyer

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer, Sept. 17, 2014. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Sept. 17, 2014 in Phoenix on charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage and preventing someone from calling 911, stemming from two alleged incidents in July. A 27-year-old woman later told police that Dwyer had sent her a photo of a knife and also described threatening text messages she had received from the running back. She ultimately left the state with her child.

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy #76 of the Carolina Panthers watches from the bench during the fourth quarter of a loss to the Buffalo Bills at Bank of America Stadium on August 8, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Image

Greg Hardy, the Carolina Panthers defensive end who was convicted by a jury in July for choking and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend, was deactivated by his team before a game against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 14 amid league-wide scrutiny of domestic violence. He had played the week before.

Aldon Smith

In this handout image provided by the NFL, Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested in April at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb. Smith was booked for investigation of making a false bomb threat.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said anyone who makes a bomb threat at an airport is potentially subject to federal charges, although no such charges have been filed against Smith.