Less than an hour after Hurd was cut by the , his lawyer, Brett Greenfield, told reporters that Hurd planned to fight the charges and wanted one thing made clear: “Sam has asked me to address one point, with respect to the rumors that Sam has been supplying drugs to other members of the N.F.L. Out of respect to the N.F.L., out of respect to teammates and out of respect to other players, he 100 percent denies that allegation.”
The league spokesman Brian McCarthy said the N.F.L. was closely monitoring the situation. Asked about a report that authorities had a list of N.F.L. players with ties to the drug case, McCarthy said, “We are not aware of such a list.”
Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim of United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois set bond at $100,000 for Hurd and ordered him to surrender his passport and any firearms. He is expected to be tried in Texas, where the criminal complaint was filed this week by the United States attorney.
Hurd, who appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit with his feet shackled, waived his right to a preliminary hearing, meaning the next step is for prosecutors to take the case before a grand jury.
Hurd was arrested Wednesday night outside a Chicago steakhouse, according to the complaint. The police said he told an undercover agent he was interested in buying 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of per week to distribute in the Chicago area.
Hurd told the agent a “co-conspirator is in charge of doing the majority of the deals” while he focused on “higher-end deals,” the complaint said. He agreed to pay $25,000 for each kilogram of cocaine and $450 a pound for the marijuana, according to the charges, and then said he could pay for a kilo of cocaine — about 2.2 pounds — after “he gets out of practice.” He walked out of the restaurant with the package and was arrested.
Authorities say Hurd faces up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or half a kilogram.
Hurd, 26, was in his first year with the Bears after five years with the Dallas Cowboys. Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo said the team performed an extensive background check on Hurd, a San Antonio native who played at Northern Illinois, before signing him in July to a three-year deal reportedly worth up to $5.15 million, including a $1.35 million signing bonus and base pay this season of $685,000.
The Bears announced their contract agreement with Hurd on July 29, one day after federal authorities say he had agreed to a “consensual interview” with Homeland Security investigators over $88,000 in cash that had been seized in a car he owned in the Dallas area. The money was inside a canvas bag that authorities said was covered in a plant-like material that tested positive for “properties of marijuana.”
Hurd said the money was his and that he had given the car to his acquaintance, a car shop employee, for maintenance and detail work, the complaint said.
HARRISON APPEAL DENIED The N.F.L. has denied Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s appeal of a one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy on Dec. 8. Harrison will sit out Pittsburgh’s game Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. McCoy, who is still having headaches, has not been cleared to play by Cleveland’s medical staff.
2 PENALTIES FOR ROUGHING New Orleans safety Roman Harper has been fined a total of $22,500 by the N.F.L. for two infractions during the Saints’ victory Sunday over the Tennessee Titans. Harper was fined $15,000 for roughing the passer, and another $7,500 for unnecessary roughness.
HASSELBECK TO START Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is expected to start for the Tennessee Titans against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Hasselbeck left last week’s loss to New Orleans after pulling a calf muscle. The rookie Jake Locker replaced him.
SUSPENDED FOR ‘TEBOWING’ Two Long Island athletes have been suspended by school administrators for organizing several “kneel-downs” in tribute to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who said Friday that although he appreciated their boldness, the students had to obey their elders. “I think if they had good intentions, then good for them for having the courage to do something different,” said Tebow, who often kneels in prayer after success on the field.