NFL lineman Malik McDowell was just sentenced to JAIL for fighting a cop in Feb. -- but he's also been ordered to write multiple lengthy essays about the law ... for real.
For example, McDowell must submit a 1,000-word paper to the court on "Finding Meaning In Life Other Than Committing Crimes."
Also, another 750-word essay on "Principles of Declaration of Independence and How Your Behavior Undermines Them."
His other two assignments -- two more 750-word papers on "Importance of Respecting the Rule of Law" and "Importance of Respecting Property Rights."
AND, ALL ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN 90 DAYS!
It stems from the Feb. 18 incident in Lathrup Village, Michigan when McDowell -- a 2017 2nd round pick of the Seattle Seahawks -- was pulled over for a routine traffic violation and ended up brawling with the officer in a gas station.
Video of the incident, obtained by TMZ Sports, showed cops ultimately using a taser to subdue the 6'6", 300-pound defensive lineman. He was charged with multiple felonies including assault and resisting arrest.
Just a few months later in April, McDowell was arrested again ... this time after he was accused of stealing a $75,000 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor. He was hit with a felony charge of receiving and concealing stolen property for that incident as well.
McDowell eventually pled guilty to all the charges after cutting a deal with prosecutors last month ... and at a hearing Wednesday, a judge sentenced him to jail.
Per a court official, McDowell was ordered to spend 153 days behind bars (with credit for 66 days already served) for the cop fighting case ... and an additional 244 days for the truck theft case.
Plus, the judge -- famous for handing out unusual sentences -- ordered McDowell to complete at least 4 essays. McDowell played his college ball at Michigan State -- hopefully he attended a few English classes!
There's more ... McDowell was also ordered to pay fines and fees as well as complete some testing and a substance abuse treatment program.
Of course, it's a solid deal for McDowell, who was facing MULTIPLE years behind bars for the crimes.
Malik -- who's still an NFL free agent -- has yet to play a down in the league after he was cut by the Seahawks in 2018 because of injuries. It's unclear if his Wednesday sentencing will signal the end of his NFL career.