Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd was released from the team on Friday after his Wednesday arrest on federal drug-dealing charges.
Federal agents swooped in and arrested Hurt on Wednesday night as he dined at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Rosemont, Ill. According to federal agents he was planning to deal “large amounts” of drugs throughout the Chicago area.
In a statement following his release from the Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said:
“There’s been a wrong and we’ve acted. We have a track record of doing that.” He went on to add, “Unfortunately a situation arose that caught us off guard, but we are to the point where we are going to do the right thing. And the right thing is to cut Sam Hurd.”
Hurd’s attorney Brett Greenfield said he would fight the charges and wants fan to know:
“Sam has asked me to address one point, with respect to the rumors that Sam has been supplying drugs to other members of the NFL, out of respect to the NFL, out of respect to teammates and out of respect to other players, he 100 percent denies that allegation,” and “It is patently and totally false. It just didn’t happen.”
The arrest came after Hurd agreed to buy 2.2 pounds of cocaine from an undercover agent. In the criminal complaint federal agents say he planned to use the cocaine to setup a drug-distribution network in the Chicago area and that he had taken possession of the cocaine before being arrested.
After his arrest Hurd was forced to forfeit his passport and any firearms he may own and bond was set at $100,000.
Signed as a free agent over the summer, Angelo says the Chicago Bears front office did all their “homework” on the player, adding:
“When we do our homework on players, we have a very sound and tested methodology that we go about researching all players from college to veteran free agents, and it starts in college,” Angelo said. “We spend an inordinate amount of time on character, making sure we know the player as well as we can. But no system is foolproof.
“But for me to sit here and say we should have known something that we didn’t know. No, I can’t say that in this case. There’s no foundation for anybody to say that. There are no facts. There’s no flags that anybody could present tangibly to say that we should’ve known otherwise. I want to make that perfectly clear to the public, to our fans.”
If convicted for intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine Hurd could face up to 40 years in prison and a fine up to $2 million.
Bears coach Lovie Smith attempted to reassure fans that the arrest shouldn’t reflect badly on other Chicago Bears players:
“You have to trust people. We’re always gonna start off doing that. We have a great group of guys, but sometimes when you’re dealing with this many, it’s hard to have all of the players be a certain way,” Smith said. “But you can’t let that scar what else we’re getting done here. Every once in a while a guy will go outside what’s best for the football team, and there are consequences that you deal with. That’s how life goes. There are life lessons being learned here by our football team.”
Known as one of the “nice guys” on the Chicago Bears news of his arrest shocked fans and NFL players, especially when considering he was making a decent amount of money with the agency after signing a three year deal worth just over $2.5 million.
On the other hands, one day before singing with the Bears Hurd was pulled over in a buddies car and questioned by Homeland Security agents after they find his associate with $88,000 in cash in a bag that tested positive for marijuana, that was the same day the investigation began that led to the Sam Hurd arrest.
Do you think the Chicago Bears made the right decision in immediately releasing Sam Hurd or should he first have had his day in court?