NFL notes • Former Cowboys, Bears player was trying to establish a distribution network.
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Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana to set up a drug-distribution network, leaving a once-promising career in tatters as he faces a prison sentence of at least 10 years.
Hurd, 27, pleaded guilty in federal court in Dallas to one count of possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute. He pleaded guilty days before his trial was scheduled to begin, without any promise of a more lenient sentence.
He faces 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in July.
Hurd was playing for the Chicago Bears in December 2011 months after signing a contract reportedly worth more than $5 million when he attended a meeting at a Chicago-area steakhouse with an undercover officer and a confidential informant. Prosecutors have alleged in court documents that Hurd accepted a kilogram of cocaine from the officer and signaled that he'd be interested in buying large, weekly quantities of cocaine and marijuana.
Hurd was arrested outside the steakhouse and cut by the Bears shortly afterward.
He was released on bond, but was re-arrested in August after failing drug tests and being accused of trying to arrange another drug buy.
According to documents filed by prosecutors, Hurd agreed to purchase up to 10 kilograms of cocaine for $25,000 per kilogram and asked for up to 1,000 pounds of marijuana a week.
Around the league
Patriots • Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years of probation for assaulting a police officer outside a Lincoln, Neb., bar last year. The jail sentence is set to begin next March, but could be suspended if Dennard complies with the terms of his probation over the next 11 months.
Lions • Detroit is giving a Norwegian Internet sensation a shot to make the team, signing kicker Havard Rugland, whose trick-shot video called "Kickalicious" has more than 2.7 million views since being posted in September. The video shows him kicking and punting a football through uprights from as far away as 60 yards, from straight on and also from incredible angles. He also kicks a ball to a friend on a boat on a lake, in a moving car, on a skateboard, on a railroad bridge, on a hill, on a bluff overlooking a beach and over trees.
Saints • General manager Mickey Loomis says New Orleans and free agent offensive tackle Jason Smith agreed to a one-year contract. The 6-foot-5, 308-pound lineman was the second overall pick out of Baylor in the 2009 draft by the St. Louis Rams and spent last season with the New York Jets.
Buccaneers • Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct in connection with his New York City gun arrest. He was arrested at LaGuardia Airport on weapon possession charges in February. Authorities say a handgun was found during a search of his carry-on bag as he prepared to board a U.S. Airways flight to Raleigh, N.C.