Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said today that, as of this afternoon, Sam Hurd will no longer be a member of the team. The club has waived him. Hurd was arrested Wednesday night on drug charges after allegedly attempting to but a kilogram of cocaine from an undercover agent.
“This afternoon we are going to cut Sam Hurd," Angelo said. "So he’ll be on the [waiver] wire today."
Angelo defended the team's procedures for background checks on all incoming players, both rookies and veterans.
"When we do our homework on players, we have a very sound and tested methodology that we go about researching all players," he said. "We spend an inordinate amount of time on character, making sure we know the players as well as we can, but no system is foolproof.
"But for me to sit here and say that we should have known something that we didn’t know. No, I can’t say that in this case. There is no foundation for anybody to say that. There are no facts. There were no flags that anybody could present tangibly to say we should have known otherwise."
The federal complaint against Hurd states his car was pulled over in Dallas on July 27, 2011. Authorities found a bag that field tested positive for marijuana and another bag with $88,000 in cash. The vehicle and the driver were released without incident.
At that time, Hurd was being investigated for attempting to purchase four kilograms of cocaine through his "co-conspirator". Yet the Bears signed him two days later, on July 29, to a three-year contract, raising questions regarding the organization's vetting process.
“From my understanding, he wasn’t the one that was pulled over. His vehicle was pulled over and he was not the driver," said Angelo. "That was never made public. So he was never charged with anything, there was never any record to our knowledge of anything. It was, from my understanding, a citation. But other than that, there was no other information that was presented to us.”
Angelo said he didn't believe Hurd's agent, Ian Greengross, knew about his client's dealings, but that he should have. He also said the league did not inform the club of their knowledge of the situation before Thursday morning.
"As you know the league has people, security people in each city, ours included obviously, to do their own independent research. But there was nothing ever presented to us from the league.”
He declined comment on whether the team would try to recoup some of Hurd's $1.35 million signing bonus, or if this incident will affect Angelo's future with the team. He also would not discuss if he felt other players in Chicago's locker room might have been involved.
“I can’t talk about that. I’m certainly not going on any witch hunt here about players. The one thing we’ve done, when there’s been a wrong, we’ve acted. We don’t justify wrongs. We’ve acted. We have a track record of doing that.
"Unfortunately, a situation arose that caught us off guard but not to the point where we aren’t going to do the right thing. And the right thing is to cut Sam Hurd.”
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.